Double U espalier training from bench graft

Hi all

A local nursery is currently selling off rootstocks (end of season) and I just couldn’t help my self.

I have no more room for in ground trees and have plenty of fruit for the family each year and so these rootstocks are going to be espaliered in pots as a different, fun project. I’ve bought some M26, G214, G210 and quince eline and plan to play about making some different forms of espalier, a few of which will be double U’s.

Following a link from Roland in this thread Lorette System of Pruning - General Fruit Growing - Growing Fruit , I have been reading all about the Lorette system of pruning. On pages 88 and 89 it describes how to start a double U. In order to obtain 2 perfectly symetrical branches to start the espailer it states that a maiden should be headed 10" above the ground in April. The top most bud will grow and this branch is then cut back to the base mid June. This will cause 2 shoots of equal strength to grow from stipulary buds at exactly the same height.

My question is, can I allow the top bud of my grafted scion to grow between now and June, carry out the above procedure in June and gain a year over starting with 1 year maiden? Would heading back a tree grafted a couple of months earlier be to much for it to take and should I just learn a bit more patience?

All thoughts appreciated.



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i don’t know if the super smal latent buds at the start of this years growth. (you use those since they are only mm apart in hight) are mature enough in june. id be worried you’d just foce a latent bud lower on the stem to sprout.

if your in a rush you can do 2 oposite chip buds. like i did last year (and this)
see my profile picture.
or this picture

id recomend locking your thumbs and a sharp knife :slight_smile:
a properly sharpend carbon opinel nr5 is what i used.



Did you chip bud that around this time last year in place of bench grafting or in the summer? I’ve got 12 stocks to play with so I was thinking of double budding a few but had assumed I’d being that later in the year.

If double budding now is an option I’ll give that a go for sure.

Thanks for the idea!

yes. around this time last year. doing a bunch the coming week(s).

as can been seen i did them as bench grafts. indoors next to a table for working conviniance.

You can dormant chip bud. And it’s also fine when the rootstock is waking up. As long as you scion wood is still dormant (fridge for me)

you can also do it in summer with non dormant wood. (where you cut off the leaf of the bud, but keep the leaf stalk)
However those usualy don’t grow till next season.


Personally, if you’re starting with a bench graft, I would let it grow out for a year before heading it.

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I have some scion errors in the fridge still so I’ll attempt to double bud 1 or 2.

I’d not thought of dormant budding so thanks again for the idea.

Thanks, I’m pretty sure you’re right. I might try it with 1 and grow the rest out.

Oscar, out of interest, into what form of espalier are training that double budded stock? A U/ double U or something else?

mainly multi leader tree’s.

also some step-over and low “fence” espalier. (1 to 2 tier)
Mabey a candelabra or few to. but i can decide that next years.

Dubble budded for 2 horizontals. on which i want to graft a new variety every ~8 inches. to grow vertical.

once im done with the orchard work and grafting. ill hope to have some more time and pictures to open up a topic.

has similarity’s to “dubble” UFO (cherry) guyot (grape)

Dr. Stuart Tustin in new zealand


Alberto dorigoni in italy

Depending on the fruit species you prune differently. but im gonna try to keep the shape somewhat similair. All 2 demensional fruiting wall.

for example

  • cherry you renewal prune the verticals 20% each year.
  • grape you replace all verticals except for 2, those 2 you use to replace your horizontals. (2 in the middle from the main stem)
  • spurr bearing apples and pears (which almost all do to some (lesser) degree.) you only thin the spurs and side brances of the verticals. Almost everything is “permanent” wood.
  • plums probably somewhere in between apples and cherry. so might need to replace some vertical wood. still have to finilize my plan.
  • peaches probably strongewr renewal. and keeping more 1y side branches from the verticals. (that i might space wider)

for most i still have time. Since im mainly growing out the 2 verticals this year.

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also keep in mind you want to care for dubble budded grafts well. I neglected a few last year. and got unbalanced growth. Virtually all chip buds healed. But a few did not grow.

although a few grow 2 perfect ~3 foot branches that where within 5% of eachother length and thicknes wise. Verry balanced.

i dubble bud almost everything.
If 1 bud fails. worst case scenario i got a normal maiden whip.

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That sounds like a great project. I’d certainly be interested to see the pics when you get round to posting them.

Thanks again


Those are beautiful grafts! Wow!

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Thanks for the compliment. :grin:

I am quite happy with how they look. It still takes quite some time to do them. And align them.

If you look at the second photo. i cut the horizontal line a little far, i mean the lengthwise cut in the stock and than the bottom part. But you want to go furthen than just the length of the chip. That really helps in holding the chip in place while wrapping or taking photo’s. The moment i realised that (after 80 chip buds) was a real “eureka” for me :slight_smile:

I am slowly getting faster at it. But still with labeling, writing down what is what etc i think im spending 3-5 minutes per bench graft.

i also did a few of those “dubble” chip buds last year with different varieties for each bud. And a 3e variety 1 cm above it.

They did not all grow balanced. Strangely enough somtimes the top bud did not grow. But the graft healed.

Im pruning them this year, to see if i can get it to be well balanced and have all 3 varieties grow.

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Yes this is possible. Graft in march, keep one bud at correct height. And prune it in june at 0,5 cm (kroonsnede). If there is enough growth the 2 stipulary buds (Nevenoogjes) will start to grow.

Each bud of a pear and apple has 2 stipulary buds. They only wake up when the middle bud / branch is removed and the grow is strong.


Also a notch above or length cut (lengtesnede) directly in the startingpoint of a stipulary bud (Nevenoogje) can start growth.


Thanks Roland, that’s a great picture to show to stipulary buds starting to grow.

For now, I’ve double budded 2 rootstocks and grafted 2. I will attempt the above with the 2 that I grafted and compare results with the double budded ones.

Thanks again


Nice pictures roland.

I wonder though. How much lengtwise growth will those 2 buds give if you cut back to them in june?

Compared to dubble grafting 2 chip buds that is.

I quite like the idea of a dubble chip bud. And if 1 does not leaf out. To have the option to prune back in june. And still get 2 horizontals.

Roland, can I also ask, is there much difference aesthetically in starting a double U from stipulary buds compared to double chip buds? I.e do the stipulary buds give naturally wider branch angles and therefore look more precise/pleasing?

Here is an example of two Tbuds. This is for a tree with multiple horizontal layers. But you see the example.
The buds are steeper with this option, the main branches have to be more curved.


For an espalier with multiple layers I would go for the first layer for the option with Tbud or chipbud because the bottom layer is always weaker and the steeper buds give more vigor to this 1st layer.

For a U shape I would go for the stipulary buds (Nevenoogjes) because you can lay them flatter and do no need the curve.


Thanks Roland, great advice

Here is a picture of my tree 1 year after grafting/planting it.

I grafted a 25-30cm piece of B9 interstem (W&T) to MM111. And did 2 chipbuds on that last winter.

I forgot to use clothespines to set the branch angle when the buds just grew. And neglected the tree a bit last growing summer.
I bend the branches down last december (few months ago) on a warm day. I was amazed that it was still possible.

I want to experiment this year with clothespines on the young green growing shoots. to see if i can get em perfectly horizontal.

Although what roland says mekes perfect sense. the first story of an espalier is weaker growing so having a steeper branch angle is actualy an advantage.
And growing 1 shoot up the 2e year. To prune it back before the 3e year at the right hight. Gives you a spot to prune for the latent buds (nevenoogjes= latent bud) on the 4th growing year so you get your second story in your fourth year. This also makes the first story strong enouhg to compete with the second.

Although maybe it might be worth it to also grow the main stem the first year. so you can grow your second story from latent buds in the 3e year.

ps: the tree on the picture is meanth for UFO/guyote style tree. Furture orchards principle. Not making an espalier from this one.