When to start Stool Bed?

I have a couple of rootstock that the grafts didn’t take on this year and are already planted in the ground in the spot I want to make the stool bed. I am wondering when should I cut the rootstocks to ground level? Should I wait till next spring or do it now?

They will be more productive if you let them grow a year before cutting them off.

A question on stool beds. I have new pine shavings used for animal bedding, can this be used instead of sawdust or will it mat and not allow shoots to emerge?

I’m going to use the pine shavings, some one correct me if I need it.

Has anyone tried using leaves or straw instead of sawdust?

Had to put screens over the top of the buckets so the chickens wouldn’t scratch all the shavings out.