Standard trees are budded in the fall on one-year-old rootstock, cut back the following spring to the scion bud, then allowed to grow as a tree for an additional season for what is known in the industry as a two-year-old tree. Low branches are removed to allow for terminal growth and branch placement.
Knipboom trees begin as a bench graft in the spring. They are planted and allowed to grow in place for the first season, requiring suckering, limbing, support, and other standard nursery practices. The following spring, they are cut back to the desired height, 24–27 inches, and a central leader is established. Because of the root establishment and heading, growth is much better than with a standard tree, including caliper and increased branching. The desired outcome is weak, flat branches that will bear fruit the second season in the orchard.