It took me 45 minutes to get the first plant tied to the screen and trimmed up.
Lets talk about that in a little bit of detail. I like to take a bunch of the plant off when it goes into flower. I like to do this because it causes a in balance between the foliage and the roots. The plant will want to rebalance itself out. To do that it will need to grow the foliage back that it has lost.
So the trick is to focus that growth where it will produce the most buds. Not just any buds. We want quality buds. Those dont come from weak branches or all along a branch. They come from the branch tips of good sized branches.
With that in mind when I trim I will trim any branch that is not at least 1/4 the size of the branch it comes out of. I also will trim any bud sites along that branch and leave only the last bud site.
Lets look at a branch. We will look at this branch.
Now this next picture will show the lower part of the branch has the bud sites removed. The bottom two branches show this.
This next photo shows the branch taken from the bottom right in the picture above. Look closely and you will see all the nodes except the very last tip node are gone. But all the leaves are still there.
I left the leaves because they will feed the growth that the plant will do. Which is just that last growth tip. Most bud sites have just one fan feeding them this branch tip has about ten. Which bud will be bigger? The one with one fan or this one.
Did you every wonder why the buds by the main stem never develop? It is because that one fan is not getting much light because it is shaded. That will not be a problem when you have this many leaves feeding just the tip.
Now lets look at the top of the branch. There are a lot of branches that fit the criteria of at least 1/4 the size of the branch it comes from. But in this case they will shade each other. And I only get one fan per bud site. So not what I want.
In this case I will select a decent sized branch about four nodes down from the tip. I will take all the buds sites to just the tip of that branch. I also like to do one on the other side of the branch as well. You can see this in the picture below. Notice I left all the fans above the two lower branches.
Hey man thanks so much for such great information, i've been planning on doing this for a long time, based on this post. I never had the balls, but i'm going into flower soon and about to butcher all bud sites except the top and hopefully it works as good as it does for you!