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Connect and Learn + Share Table

Simple Espalier Fruit Trees – presented by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Monday 20 May 2024

6.30 pm – 8.30 pm

Attend in person or via Zoom

Join us at Level 3 Meeting Rooms, Toowoomba City Library, Corner of Herries and Victoria Streets, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, or attend online.  We’ll send you the Zoom link once you book.

This is the monthly Connect and Learn evening for Permaculture Toowoomba Inc.

Bookings are Essential

Bookings are essential so we have contact details and know how many will be attending.  Book Here

What We’ll Do

6.30 pm – Learn – Simple Espalier Fruit Trees

Presented by Debbie Bassingthwaighte

    • Would you like to grow more fruit trees in a small space?
    • Do you want high yields with easy harvesting and netting of fruit?
    • Do you admire the beautiful patterns of artfully pruned trees and vines?

If so, espalier fruit trees are worth trying in your garden.  Designs might look complicated, but they’re quite simple, practical and achievable for home gardeners.

Espalier, is a French word derived from the Italian spalliera, which means “something to rest the shoulder (spalla) against”. It’s the art of pruning trees, shrubs, and woody vines against the flat surface of a wall, fence or trellis. It’s an ancient growing technique that originated in the small courtyards of Europe and is a fantastic option for growing a wide variety of fruit trees within a small area.

We’ll learn about:

    • Why Espalier?  The many benefits for home gardeners.
    • Site Selection.
    • Fruit Tree Selection (including low chill options for our bio-region).
    • Trellis and Support Options.
    • Planting – When and How.
    • Techniques for Pruning and Shaping.
    • Common Espalier Shapes and Patterns.
    • Tips for Purchasing Inexpensive Bare-Rooted Heritage Fruit Trees.

Debbie attended an online Espalier Workshop with Woodbridge Fruit Trees (Tasmania) last winter and a full-day Orchard Establishment Workshop at Heritage Fruit Trees (Victoria) in March.  So, she’ll share what she has learned and also her own successful experiences growing and training espalier apples and stone fruit.

Winter is the perfect time to establish your espalier system, so this practical session will help you get prepared.


About Debbie Bassingthwaighte

Debbie is an educator and designer deeply interested in permaculture-inspired resilience and abundance.  She was the founding President of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. and continues to enjoy an active involvement on the management committee.

Living on a peaceful 5 acres at Postmans Ridge (a productive Land for Wildlife property that nourishes family and friends), Debbie feels consciously interconnected with nature and community.  She strives to live a simple, proactive life where her positive handprint is greater than her negative footprint.

You might also like to see Debbie’s website, Nurtured Life, focused on empowering resilience as a curator of living wisdom.  It includes a potpourri of blog posts for inspiration, links to events, and resources (recipes, plant profiles, and bookshelf) to build skills and knowledge.

Debbie writes a free monthly Nurture Notes Newsletter for anyone interested in subscribing.

Connect with Debbie at her Website | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter

Nurtured Life Collage


7.45 pm – Connect – Light Supper (provided) and Share Table

A light supper will be served (including Gluten Free and Vegan options).

Sharing of produce on the Share Table opens after the presentation to allow plenty of time for everyone to place their donations, and then allow you to browse, connect and make your selections during supper

Share Table

Do you have surplus?

We encourage you to bring your surplus produce, plants, seeds, books, craft supplies, and resources to share with others at our monthly Connect and Learn evenings.

Some ideas of what you could bring include – fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, milk, jams, pickles, preserves, jars, ferments, starters, SCOBYs, seeds, plants, seedlings, cuttings, tubers, pots, tools, gardening magazines, permaculture books, recipes, patterns, manure, coffee grounds, compost additives, worms, mealworms, wool, fabric, craft supplies, soap, natural cleaning products, plastic alternatives, produce bags – the list is extensive.

Please bring whatever you can and then take home whatever you need within our culture of generosity and free sharing


  • Annual Membership of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. is due by 31 December each year.
  • It’s only $40 per person or $30 for a second or subsequent adult living in the same home.
  • Financial Members can attend events and workshops during the year at no cost.
  • You can pay your membership for 2024 at checkout when you book to attend this event.
  • Membership forms will be available at the event for anyone wishing to join, or available here for download at http://www.permaculturetoowoomba.com.au/membership/


Free off-street parking is available under the library (enter from Victoria Street).


The venue has access for wheelchairs, walking frames, and strollers as needed. Everyone is welcome (including children with parental supervision).

We hope we see you there!


  • Financial Members of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. – Free
  • First-time Visitors to a Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. Event – Free
  • Non-Members – $10 per person
  • Children attending with an Adult – Free (but please book so we know the total numbers)