Pleached trees are those that have been carefully trained to develop straight, bare trunks, usually supporting square, flat, near two-dimensional canopies. When planted in an avenue they resemble a hedge raised up on stilts. Pleaching, a long-established and traditional technique, is ideal for limiting the spread of mature trees where there is restricted space, while adding height and definition and creating privacy. It is a method of growing trees ideal for courtyards and often seen in the squares of European cities. It’s suitable for a variety of trees and not unusual to see pleached hornbeam, beech or holly; some productive fruit frees will also grow in this way. Including pleached trees in your garden is a good way of creating shade or adding an architectural, rather formal look that suits urban or country gardens alike; it can also provide a sense of enclosure or privacy. Remember that trees will need pruning every year but apart from that, are very easy to live with.