[ ih-spal-yer, -yey ]
See synonyms for espalier on
  1. a trellis or framework on which the trunk and branches of fruit trees or shrubs are trained to grow in one plane.

  2. a plant so trained.

verb (used with object)
  1. to train on an espalier.

  2. 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

Words Nearby espalier Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use espalier in a sentence

  • A beautiful portion of Holland's glorious history affords the espalier, around which the tendrils of my narrative entwine.

  • The apricot is a favorite tree for espalier training against walls and fences, in small yards, where it bears luxuriantly.

    Soil Culture | J. H. Walden
  • Trained as an espalier, with protection of straw or mats, it will do tolerably well throughout the Middle states.

    Soil Culture | J. H. Walden
  • The left arm being defended by the target has no espalier or pauldron, but only coude, vambraces, and gauntlets.

    Spanish Arms and Armour | Albert F. Calvert
  • A branch from Andreasens espalier, an apple branch of all things, thrust itself up across the opening.

    Egholm and his God | Johannes Buchholtz

British Dictionary definitions for espalier


/ (ɪˈspæljə) /

  1. an ornamental shrub or fruit tree that has been trained to grow flat, as against a wall

  2. the trellis, framework, or arrangement of stakes on which such plants are trained

  1. the method used to produce such plants

  1. (tr) to train (a plant) on an espalier

Origin of 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