How much room do espaliered fruit tree roots need?

Asked January 29, 2014, 1:04 PM EST

I want to espalier a couple peach trees as a screen along a 3' high ledge. How far must I plant from the edge to prevent the roots from growing out into open air?

Marshall County Iowa

1 Response

Tree roots will grow as far as they can in favorable soils. Tree roots will not grow into open air as air does not provide a favorable environment for root growth.

I would plant the peach tree no closer than 10 feet from the ledge. A ten-foot spacing should allow the tree to develop a good root system completely around the trunk. A tree with a good root system should be quite stable. A tree with poor root development on one side (for example, if planted close to the ledge) may not be very stable and could be uprooted (blown over) in a windstorm.