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Lubera stops plant deliveries to the UK
Due to Brexit, we are not able to deliver to the UK. We are working on a solution on how we can continue to bring a wide range of Lubera plants to the UK and directly to our customers' homes in the future. However, such a solution will not be available before 2022 or 2023.

The Cordon Training System


In the Lubera Mundraub Garden at the Ippenburg Castle we use the cordon as a design element. In front of the Paradise Gardens it forms a (non-) step over espalier, at a height of about 50 cm. This low fence framework in which the Lubera apple trees and Redloves® (supported by Harrod Step Over Support) ultimately forms a kind of railing, similar to a handrail, representing a bracket which holds the 17 Paradise Gardens together and leads the visitor to the different entrances, over the 600 year old wall, which is also planted with other espalier trees.

The cordon fruit trees are exactly what they describe: a very slender stem and tree shape that is drawn in a line or as a string. Here, the growth type does not come from the genetics or the variety (such as the columnar tree Maloni), but from the pruning and training methods. Mostly the lower cordons can be found, which horizontally lead to an approximately 50 cm trunk height of the tree. Of course, other forms are also possible, other branching and angles; but ultimately, the guiding principle of the training method is always the same: the one-year tree is shaped and the stem extension is continued and kept narrow by means of pruning and training and fruit is formed.
What appears so artful and difficult, which already makes the Sun King Louis XIV in Versailles happy, can easily be grown and cultivated in your garden. The cordon fruit tree is very versatile as a conductive element that extends a perspective along a path, as a flower bed border, as a separation or as a virtual fence railing; it can also be used formally. The cordon fruit tree brings the garden in shape, in the true sense of the word. And it is in any case a fruit tree, which by definition is also a decorative tree simultaneously; it lifts the boundaries between commercial, pleasure and ornamental gardens.

How do I go about training a tree using the cordon training system?

  1. The starting material are one-year-old trees that grow on weak-growing rootstocks. At Lubera these are the Paradis and Redlove® Easy Trees in 5 litre pots. Other types of fruit, such as pears, are also suitable; however not stone fruit.
  2. The trees can be planted throughout the entire year. Spring and summer plantings are for sure preferred because the tree can then be easily formed.
  3. The planting distance should be about 1.5 to 3 m. If you would like to form an extended cordon with different varieties, such as at Ippenburg Castle, the trees will all be in the same direction. For smaller cordons of 3-5 m, the trees can grow across from each other. There is no problem if the cordon fruit trees overlap, if two cordons are tied down in a few places.
  4. Immediately after planting, bend the tree carefully to the desired level. Here the bend should be as narrow as possible, but of course, the branch must not break.
  5. The main shoot is not tied down to the same level; rather allow it to have a little slope and angle so that the trunk/line continuation continues to grow rapidly. For cordons that have been bound completely flat too early, too many vertical water shoots will develop and the trunk continuation grows almost perpendicular to the cordon. The cordon is only tied down to the final level when the final length is reached.

  6. Particularly in the first two years it is very important that the competitors of the stem elongation are pinched in June, around the longest day; they may not compete in the middle of their development.
  7. In principle, the maintenance pruning of the cordons is done two times a year; once in summer, once in February. Cut back all the shoots that are above 15-20 cm to about 15 cm in order to “force” the formation of fruit-bearing wood. Only in exceptional cases, such as when a vertical branch becomes too strong and too long, should the side shoots be removed completely.
  8. Renewal pruning: An older cordon forms lots of short, fruit-bearing wood directly on the cordon; then there is a risk that the tree will age and that no more new wood can be formed. In such situations, use a little more fertiliser. In addition, remove approximately one third of the short, fruit-bearing wood in order to stimulate the formation of new, fruit-bearing wood.



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