Espalier Techniques Trivia Questions and Answers

a close up of a white flower in a field

1: What is the main purpose of the ancient horticultural practice known as espalier?
A: Controlling plant height
B: Controlling woody plant growth for fruit production
C: Creating rainwater channels
D: Growing plants underwater
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Espalier involves pruning and tying branches to a frame to control woody plant growth and enhance fruit production.

2: How does training espaliers next to a wall benefit the growth of the plants?
A: It shades the plants
B: It enhances photosynthesis
C: It reflects more sunlight and retains heat overnight
D: It prevents flooding
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Training espaliers next to a wall reflects more sunlight and retains heat, extending the growing season for fruit maturation.

3: In which historical period did Europeans refine espalier into an art?
A: Stone Age
B: Middle Ages
C: Industrial Revolution
D: Modern Era
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Europeans refined espalier into an art during the Middle Ages.

4: Which ancient civilization is believed to have originated espalier techniques?
A: Ancient Greeks
B: Ancient Egyptians
C: Ancient Romans
D: Ancient Mayans
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The origin of espalier techniques can be traced back to the ancient Romans.

5: What is a simple horizontal espalier design commonly called?
A: Step-over
B: Palmette
C: Fan
D: U-shaped
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Step-over is a simple design where the branches are tied to a wire around 40 cm (15 in) above the ground.

6: What does the word “espalier” mean in Italian?
A: Tree
B: Branch
C: Shoulder
D: Frame
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The word espalier is derived from the Italian “spalliera,” which means “something to rest the shoulder against.”

7: In Belgian fences, what shape are the trees trained into?
A: Circle
B: Square
C: V shape
D: Spiral
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Belgian fences are created by training trees into a V shape and aligning them in a row.

8: Which woody plant is NOT commonly used for espalier training?
A: Apple
B: Pear
C: Banana
D: Fig
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Banana plants are not commonly used for espalier; woody plants like apple, pear, and fig are preferred.

9: Which modern espalier design resembles a candelabra?
A: Fan
B: Verrier candelabra
C: Drapeau marchand
D: V-shaped cordon
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Verrier candelabra is a type of vertical cordon with multiple upright stems, resembling a candelabra.

10: How is a new level created in Horizontal T espaliers?
A: By cutting branches off entirely
B: By training vertical stems up to another wire
C: By allowing branches to grow unpruned
D: By bending branches into a circle
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: In Horizontal T espaliers, new levels are created by training vertical stems up to another wire.

11: What alternative forms can a Belgian fence be trained into?
A: Circle and spiral
B: Step-over and fan
C: Triangle and square
D: Drapeau and oval
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: A Belgian fence can be further trained into forms such as step-over and fan.

12: What is the main benefit of installing espalier plants 15–30 cm from a wall?
A: Optimal root growth and air circulation
B: Reducing plant watering needs
C: Shielding from wind
D: Enhancing vertical growth
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Installing espalier plants 15–30 cm from a wall allows for optimal root growth and good air circulation.

13: During which season are major prunings of espalier plants usually accomplished?
A: Summer
B: Autumn
C: Winter (when plants are dormant)
D: Spring
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Major pruning of espalier plants is usually done while the plant is dormant, which is generally in winter.

14: Which type of wall is ideal for anchoring supports for wire guides in espalier installations?
A: Wooden walls
B: Fabric walls
C: Masonry walls
D: Glass walls
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Masonry walls are ideal for placing U-bolts, eye bolts, or eye screws for wire guides.

15: What size of tree is typically suitable for immediate espalier training from nurseries?
A: One foot tall in a one-gallon container
B: Two feet tall in a bag
C: Three to four feet tall in a three-gallon container
D: Five feet tall in a five-gallon container
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Trees that are three to four feet tall in three-gallon containers are suitable for immediate espalier training.

16: Which espalier technique involves radiant branch patterns originating from a central trunk?
A: Fan
B: Step-over
C: Vertical cordon
D: U-shaped
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The fan espalier technique involves radiant patterns created by lowering and cutting branches of a V-shaped espalier.

17: Which species is commonly used for espalier and is known for its red buds?
A: Lemon
B: Magnolia
C: Redbud
D: Peach
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is commonly used for espalier and is known for its red buds.

18: How many years does it typically take to produce a U double espalier?
A: One year
B: Two years
C: Three years
D: Four years
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: It typically takes two years to produce a U double espalier by training vertical stems.

19: What type of plant is Allamanda cathartica, used in espalier designs?
A: Tree
B: Shrub
C: Woody vine
D: Herb
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Allamanda cathartica is a woody vine used in espalier designs.

20: Which related practice involves creating structures with living trees?
A: Bonsai
B: Pleaching
C: Grafting
D: Tree shaping
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Tree shaping involves creating structures and art with living trees.

21: What is the easiest espalier design for fruit production?
A: Horizontal T
B: Palmette
C: Vertical cordon
D: Step-over
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The vertical cordon is considered the simplest and quickest espalier for fruit production, although managing its vigor can be challenging.

22: Which plant characteristic might be ideal for informal espalier designs?
A: Tall height
B: Uniform growth
C: Unique or deformed shape
D: Fast-growing
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Informal espalier designs often employ plants with unique or deformed shapes to create interesting patterns.

23: What is the traditional French use of espalier in castle courtyards?
A: To create mazes
B: For decorative flower patterns
C: To grow fruit without interfering with open space
D: As defensive barriers
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In traditional French castle courtyards, espalier was used to grow fruit without interfering with the open space.

24: During the summer, what happens to the buds on an espaliered tree?
A: They turn into flowers
B: They lengthen into branches
C: They fall off
D: They stay dormant
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: During the summer, buds lengthen into branches that can be trained in the espalier design.

25: What should be done to extra buds on an espaliered tree in spring?
A: Permitted to grow
B: Decorated
C: Ripped away
D: Rubbed away
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Extra buds that are not needed in the espalier design should be rubbed away in spring.

26: Which espalier type was created around 1950 specifically for training peaches?
A: Fan
B: Baldassari palmette
C: Horizontal T
D: U double
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Baldassari palmette espalier was created around 1950 specifically for training peaches.

27: Which tool is NOT typically used to install wire guides on a masonry wall for espaliers?
A: U-bolts
B: Eye screws
C: Plastic plugs
D: Sledgehammer
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Tools like U-bolts, eye screws, and plastic plugs are used, whereas a sledgehammer is not typically required.

28: Where is a pear tree espaliered into a cordon notably displayed?
A: Standen, West Sussex
B: The Cloisters, Manhattan
C: Versailles, France
D: Kew Gardens, London
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: A pear tree espaliered into a cordon is notably displayed in the garden of the Cloisters in upper Manhattan.

29: Which espalier technique involves multiple horizontal levels stacked on one another?
A: Step-over
B: Horizontal T
C: Palmette
D: U double
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Horizontal T espalier technique involves multiple horizontal levels.

30: What spacing is common between trees in a Belgian fence?
A: One foot
B: Two feet
C: Three feet
D: Four feet
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Trees in a Belgian fence are commonly planted two feet apart.

31: Which material is ideal for eye screws to support espalier wire guides on wooden walls?
A: Plastic
B: Aluminum
C: Galvanized steel
D: Copper
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Galvanized steel is ideal for eye screws to support espalier wire guides on wooden walls.

32: How is growth controlled in a Horizontal T espalier design?
A: By letting branches grow freely
B: By training branches horizontally
C: By shortening trunks
D: By frequent watering
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Growth is controlled by training branches horizontally in a Horizontal T espalier design.

33: In which season are espalier branches most flexible for bending and training?
A: Summer
B: Winter
C: Autumn
D: Spring
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Espalier branches are most flexible during the summer, making it an ideal time for bending and training.

34: Which type of espalier design usually starts with a V shape but creates multiple branching levels?
A: Palmette
B: Horizontal T
C: Step-over
D: Vertical cordon
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Horizontal T design starts with a V shape and creates multiple horizontal branching levels.

35: What is a common method used to create a right-angle branch from the main stem in Drapeau marchand?
A: Cutting branches
B: Bending branches
C: Tying branches down
D: Training branches at an angle
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: In Drapeau marchand, branches on the upper side are trained to a right angle from the main stem.

36: Which shrub is commonly used in espalier and has aromatic white flowers?
A: Juniper
B: Gardenia
C: Privet
D: Cotoneaster
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) is commonly used in espalier and has aromatic white flowers.

37: How can you increase the growth of a branch in an espalier design?
A: Train it horizontally
B: Let it grow wild
C: Train it vertically
D: Cut it back
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Training a branch vertically can increase its growth.

38: Which espalier design involves a series of overlapping Vs to create a pattern?
A: Belgian fence
B: Step-over
C: Horizontal T
D: Palmette
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: A Belgian fence involves a series of overlapping Vs to create a pattern.

39: What is a common characteristic of plants selected for informal espalier designs?
A: Perfectly straight growth
B: Symmetrical branches
C: Interesting or unique characteristics
D: Uniform height
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Plants with interesting or unique characteristics are commonly selected for informal espalier designs.

40: Which plant is NOT a species typically trained for espalier?
A: Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)
B: Cercis canadensis (Redbud)
C: Musa acuminata (Cavendish Banana)
D: Pyrus spp. (Pear)
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Banana plants, such as Musa acuminata, are not typically trained for espalier; woody plants are preferred.

41: What distance from a wall is ideal for installing espalier plants?
A: 5-10 cm
B: 15-30 cm
C: 40-50 cm
D: 1 meter
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Installing espalier plants 15-30 cm from a wall is ideal for root growth and air circulation.

42: What should be the first step when installing supports for espaliers on a solid wall?
A: Transplanting the plants
B: Installing wires on the wall
C: Placing soil around the base
D: Watering the plant
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The first step is to install supports for wires directly into the wall.

43: Which ancient espalier-related practice involves joining two or more plants together?
A: Bonsai
B: Pleaching
C: Grafting
D: Topiary
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Grafting is a horticultural technique that involves joining two or more plants together.

44: What specific advantage does training branches horizontally provide in espalier?
A: Increases branch height
B: Decreases plant stress
C: Increases fruit production
D: Shields from rain
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Training branches horizontally decreases growth but increases fruit production.

45: How are unnecessary buds typically managed in espalier trees?
A: Watered regularly
B: Allowed to sprout
C: Removed by rubbing away
D: Pruned monthly
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Unnecessary buds in espalier trees are typically removed by rubbing them away.

46: Which woody vine is included in espalier examples and is known for its vibrant orange flowers?
A: Jasmine
B: Pyrostegia venusta (Flame vine)
C: Ficus pumila (Creeping fig)
D: Allamanda cathartica
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Pyrostegia venusta, or Flame vine, is known for its vibrant orange flowers and is used in espalier.

47: Which type of espalier design is among the quickest to produce?
A: Palmette
B: Step-over
C: Fan
D: Horizontal T
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The step-over is among the quickest espalier designs to produce because it involves a simple horizontal arrangement.

48: What was espalier traditionally used for in European vineyards?
A: Creating shade
B: Training grapes
C: Building trellises
D: Preventing soil erosion
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Espalier was traditionally used in European vineyards to train grapes.

49: Which espalier design is known for having branches grow in a radiating pattern?
A: Step-over
B: Palmette
C: Horizontal T
D: U double
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The palmette design exhibits branches growing in a radiating pattern.

50: How do Belgian fences help create other espalier forms?
A: By reducing the number of branches
B: By allowing the branches to curve naturally
C: By training the branches into specific patterns
D: By aligning branches parallel to the wall
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Belgian fences can be further trained into other espalier forms by training branches into specific patterns.

51: For which fruit is the Horizontal T method particularly well-suited in espalier?
A: Apple
B: Orange
C: Banana
D: Pineapple
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The Horizontal T method is particularly well-suited for training apples in espalier designs.

52: Which tree, known for its large magnolia flowers, is used in espalier?
A: Acer palmatum
B: Magnolia grandiflora
C: Ficus carica
D: Eriobotrya japonica
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Magnolia grandiflora, known for its large magnolia flowers, is used in espalier.

53: How are branches attached to canes in a V-shaped espalier design?
A: With glue
B: With nails
C: By tying them
D: By bending them naturally
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In a V-shaped espalier design, branches are attached to canes by tying them.

54: What horticultural practice involves clipping foliage into clearly defined shapes?
A: Pleaching
B: Grafting
C: Bonsai
D: Topiary
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Topiary involves clipping the foliage of perennial plants into clearly defined shapes.

55: How long should plants be allowed to establish before major pruning in espalier?
A: Immediately
B: One week
C: Until they are well established
D: One month
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Plants should be allowed to become well established before major pruning in espalier training.

56: Which spreading holly is favored for its suitability in espalier designs?
A: Ilex aquifolium
B: Ilex cornuta ‘Burford’
C: Ilex verticillata
D: Ilex opaca
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Ilex cornuta ‘Burford’ is favored for its suitability in espalier designs.

57: How should supports be installed for optimal espalier training on wooden walls?
A: By drilling nails directly into the wood
B: Using plastic anchors
C: By using galvanized nipples and turnbuckles
D: By stapling them
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Supports on wooden walls should be installed using galvanized nipples with turnbuckles to adjust the wire tautness.

58: Which plant is often used in formal espalier designs and has fragrant white flowers?
A: Camellia japonica
B: Ficus carica
C: Euonymus alata
D: Allamanda cathartica
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Camellia japonica is often used in formal espalier designs and has fragrant white flowers.

59: What type of plant is Pyracantha coccinea, commonly used for espalier?
A: Herb
B: Shrub
C: Tree
D: Woody vine
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Pyracantha coccinea is a shrub commonly used for espalier.

60: Which informal espalier design would be suitable for a plant with a unique branch formation?
A: Vertical cordon
B: Formal fan
C: Deformed palmette
D: Informal design
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Plants with unique or deformed branches are ideal for informal espalier designs.

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