This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
It is surprising how pertinaciously the old system of training wall-trees with nails and shreds has been adhered to. In this respect, speaking generally, we are no further advanced than our great grandfathers. The nail-and-shred system has little or nothing to recommend it. It destroys the best-built walls, creates un -limited breeding and hiding places for vermin that are injurious to both trees and fruit; and the same may be said of the shreds themselves, while the nails very often prove injurious to the wood and the fruit if not most narrowly watched. The work of nailing is one of the most tedious and trying that the gardener has to perform. Indeed, we do not know what to say in its favour. In some cases, where nailing has been departed from, the system of driving studs into the walls has been adopted; but if an improvement at all, it is a very slight one. We are happy to see that in some of the best-arranged new gardens the reasonable, better-looking, and much easier method of wiring the walls at once is being adopted. Once done, there is no incessant knocking in and drawing out of nails, to the ruin of garden-walls. Trees are much easier cleaned when infested with insects.
A circulation of air is allowed about the foliage and fruit, and the work of tying is much easier and pleasanter than nailing. Judging from the vigorous way in which these fittings, as well as espaliers of the same material, are being advertised, it is to be hoped the system will soon be generally adopted.