Answer: Yes, you must remove any growth that occurs below the graft as soon as you see it. This includes leaves or sprouts on the trunk as well as any shoots from the ground. If you do not do this promptly then the tree will direct its energy to the lower growth direct from the root stock instead of to the desirable grafted top. New growth such as buds or leaves on the trunk can usually just be rubbed off with your fingers if you catch them early.
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