- a trellis or framework on which the trunk and branches of fruit trees or shrubs are trained to grow in one plane.
- a plant so trained.
- to train on an espalier.
- to furnish with an espalier.
Origin of espalier
1655–65; < French, Middle French: trellis < Italian spalliera back rest, espalier, equivalent to spall(a) shoulder, support + -iera -ier2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for espalier
Attend to the trees lately planted, and water them often; and whatever good shoots they make, fasten them to the wall or espalier.
All the soldiers of the Garrison were ranked in espalier on each side.History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XX. (of XXI.)
The wind at intervals shook the entire surface of the espalier.Bouvard and Pcuchet
If grafted on the paradise stock it may be grown as an open dwarf, or an espalier.British Pomology
He saw Caroline fastening a vine to an espalier, and came to assist her.
- an ornamental shrub or fruit tree that has been trained to grow flat, as against a wall
- the trellis, framework, or arrangement of stakes on which such plants are trained
- the method used to produce such plants
- (tr) to train (a plant) on an espalier
C17: from French: trellis, from Old Italian: shoulder supports, from spalla shoulder, from Late Latin spatula
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for espalier
1660s, from French espalier (16c.), from Italian spalliera "stake-works shoulder-high," from spalla "shoulder," from Latin spatula (see spatula).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper