How to string horizontal wires in espalier

This “How to” is a closer look at the wire-stringing step from our page on how to build a free-standing espalier. img_6695.jpg This “How to” assumes you have already done everything up until the wire stringing step, which means your hook eyes should already be screwed into your wooden posts.
Just to recap, we used:

  • 14 gauge galvanized wire
  • Hook eyes
  • Turn-buckles



Before you start, make sure the turn-buckles are all the way open, as long as they can go, so you can tighten them when you’re done!

20180927_1041082.jpgLoop the wire through the turn-buckle, leaving 2-3 inches of wire for wrapping. Pull it snug so it won’t move on you, but don’t wrap the wire around itself yet, as it will be much easier to wrap once the other end of the wire is secured.



20180927_104148_burst17.jpgWith one end of the wire looped through the turn-buckle, secure and wrap the other end. Pull the wire taught with your hands and cut it a few inches past the eyelet. Loop the wire through the eyelet, pulling it through with the pliers to get it pretty taught (no need to put real muscle into it, just keep in mind the only way to tighten it after this is with the turnbuckle).


Wrap the wire around itself a few times (I did 3-5 wraps). When you’ve done a couple wraps and the wire gets too short you’ll need to use pliers.




Now go back to the turn-buckle end and wrap it! Stick something (I used a screw driver) into the end loop of the turnbuckle to keep it from moving as you wrap the wire.



When you’ve strung all your wires, tighten the turn-buckles evenly. They don’t need to be incredibly tight (you don’t want to make the wooden posts at the ends lean in), but they shouldn’t be sagging either.



And that’s it! Here’s our finished espalier!


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