I've got a row of espaliered apple trees between a client's formal 1/2 acre lawn, and their 1 acre paddock. The paddock is being mown now, and they have put in some fruit trees with the plan it's more of an orchard than just a mess of long grass and nettles.
There are about ten apples, over perhaps 20 metres, trained on wires up to 1.5 m height. Trouble is, they took the rabbit guards off and now have all but two completely dead, and the remaining two aren't healthy. The apples have never been nice (I've done the garden for ten year, now it's a new owner and I'm back after a year's gap), and they can have plenty of fruit from the proper trees anyway, so we are thinking of a different plant to use instead.
The site is obviously fairly windy, but not desperately exposed as there are mature trees nearby. It's very fertile soil, keeps fairly moist even in dry years and doesn't waterlog. They want something more ornamental, but not a hedge as such; evergreens are out, it needs to be like the apples, but prettier!
Any suggestions? I thought of flowering cherry, but haven't seen them trained as espaliers before.