Stepover apple tree training

Hi All

I’ve been lurking on this forum for a couple of months and have really been enjoying the threads.

We’re up to 32 or so fruit trees. Mainly apple but with pears, plums (euro) and cherries too. I’ve just grafted (bench) another 10 apples and a plum and am planning to train a couple of the new apples as stepovers (running out of space).

All the guidance I’ve read about training a stepover involves taking a 1 year maiden and heading it while dormant to the height required etc etc. My question is, seems as these are tree’s I’ve bench grafted myself, is there a good reason I cant simply let 2 buds from the scion develop and start training the 2 laterals this year?




I know this is old but I’m wondering the same for apples and pears.

You’ll find this in Japanese horticultural methods books, some of which also have English versions.

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I tried it with 2 trees and it worked fine. Both trees are now in ground and doing well. I didn’t notice much difference in vigor between the 2 shoots but planned to lower the more vigorous shoot faster than the less. I can’t remember if i actually needed to do this.

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