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Thread: Trimming Branches in Flower

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    Trimming Branches in Flower

    Hi everyone. A few months ago I was reading about pruning off the smaller branches throughout the plant that end up being popcorn buds in order to get better light penetration and more 'energy' going to the bigger buds.

    The trouble is I'm reading a lot of conflicting things. I'm wondering if any of you have done this, and if so - do you just trim the lower branches that are visibly smaller, or do you and/or trim the branches throughout the entire plant to get better light penetration.

    Really, anything will be of help. I have some Super Skunk that are in their 2-3 week of flowering right now and I'm wanting to prune off all the smaller branches if it turns out I'm right about it being advantageous.

    Thanks in advance, and if anyone has any questions - let me know.


    .t2h

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    Member of the Month - August 2012 Nug and Plant of the Month - October 2013 Nug the the Month - January 2014 BigIrishDoode's Avatar
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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    it can help especially if its really big n bushy, i trim as i feel it needs it if the underbrush is looking pale and weak then i may take some, some pics would help alot and info on lights medium,ferts,etc. hope this helps little

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Just my input, I did a test with three of my strains with defoliating and pruning in flower in each one i did it to lowered the yeild and made my buds smaller overall. The best thing to do is cut the lower 1/3 off a week or two before flower and you should get no popcorn.

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Thanks for the replies. The strain itself is not as bushy as a lot of other ones. I have 40 plants under 6 1000w Raptor fixtures in an Ebb and Grow Hydroton setup. I'm also using CO2 at 1500ppm. I am using Advanced Nutrients following 'roughly' the lucas formula with some additions such as Karma, Open Sesame, and Big Buds. Because of size/power I can't increase the light count. My harvests have been getting better and better each time, and my last was 10lbs.

    I do prune off the crap branches near the bottom a few weeks before they go into flower, but I had read that because of the amount of growing they do in the first few weeks of flower that new branches are bound to sprout up and some of these you can tell aren't going to be very good.

    If I can get some pictures today I'll post them. My thinking was that often there are smaller branches connected to the larger branches up top, and that removing these would increase light to the entire plant, even the lower branches.

    jbiz, I wasn't really looking into removing leaves (seems like most consider this a bad idea) but more these smaller branches. Your results are interesting though. How much did you actually prune, was it small or considerable? I was never planning on removing too much from each plant to avoid shocking, and like you said reducing overall yield from hasty removal.


    .t2h

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    420 Member HiTimes4Me's Avatar
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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Quote Originally Posted by jbiz206 View Post
    Just my input, I did a test with three of my strains with defoliating and pruning in flower in each one i did it to lowered the yeild and made my buds smaller overall. The best thing to do is cut the lower 1/3 off a week or two before flower and you should get no popcorn.
    First off let me state In my Experience....

    It all depends on when you take it off...If you do it a week or two from flowering while still in veg....half way through it grows back and is still taking energy... I personally follow 420fieds method of waiting until the major flowering stretch STOPS...then I take away what I feel is neccessary...If I'm not mistaken 420fied uses days 21 and 45 as reference points but that's for his strain so times will vary... It seemed to work for me but I only grew one round of clones from that strain I'll leave one of my clones from the next round untrimmed and let you know if it did anything different...Worse case scenario weight will be the same but some of it will be popcorn and not as primo...But hey I'm not picky...POPCORN STILL BURNS lol

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    So does that mean that it is ok to trim fan leaves that block all the light along with bottom stuff? I usually wait till like week 4 or 5 of flower. Is this ok? When are the fan leaves not needed?

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Don't take any leaves off bro, all bad.

    If you want to take leaves off to get light to lower branches, it is ALLWAYS better to just cut out the lower branches you are concerned about. The plant needs the leaves far more then lower branches. They need them thru the entire flowering process.

    Prune them 'till you are SCARED! Then prune up a few more inches. I take off branches well in to week 2 of flower. I ain't into making hash, so I want all fat nug, no duff at all.

    Here is a couple pics of some Chem 91' and Larry OG that I recently pruned, well about 3 weeks ago or so. I have pruned even more off since then.



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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Thanks dude! Nice setup!!!!!

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Never trim in flower.

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganjahoarder View Post
    Never trim in flower.
    Why? I'll trim up into week 4 in flower.

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    i just cut alot of small thing branches with small airy buds about 23 days into my flower under scrog. THe light wasnt even getting to them they were just growing strickly because the plant knew there was a node there it just didnt have any light to make a big enough bud. So i went to town, but i didnt trim everything all at once , for 2 reasons

    1 i have 4 bushy ass PPP plants under a screen that are almost 5 months old so it takes a while to prune that much stuff

    and 2 i feel like if you cut too much off at once you could shock your plant. I prune throughout the whole plants life, but defoliation i think should be done at day 21 and 45

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    The mj is so hardy and there's so very many different ideas to trim or not to trim. Imo it's up to the grower to try what the idea he/she has by trimming and see what happens. NorCalHal's trimming is what I did with my last 4 flowering plants except they were like 8" when they went in but I took alot of the bottom branches off and couldn't believe how full and bushy the top canopy developed. The frigging bad news is they were all males, lol. I'd be curious as to what u decide and how it turns out. Rastafari.

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    I trim in veg and at least two weeks into flower





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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Excellent posts guys. For some reason I didn't get an email notification until this last post :-/.

    NorCalHal, since my post this is about the method I have taken. I gradually took more and more. But starting early on in veg I take off any lower branches that are growing practically horizontal. So from a couple weeks old (from clones) the only branches allowed to survive are the ones that are reaching up towards the light. Most branches all reach the upper canopy, but some do not.

    With my last round, which I'm getting ready to harvest tomorrow, I didn't do quite as much trimming in veg. Weeks 2 and 3 I went through and cut off any of the lower branches (I sort of use my tomato cages as reference points) as well as trimming everything where the base of the branches start that gets blocked by light. Essentially what I think I see with NorCalHal's photos - I may not take off the complete branch if it's reaching up, but I will trim off the stuff towards the main stalk that isn't going to get much light. Sometimes this results in only 1 or two nodes on that particular branch - and my question is in theory, is it better to have many nodes per branch, or will 1 or two fill out most of the branch? My gut says you want as many as possible. Generally I avoid cutting off any node or branching that does not look 'robust'.

    I finally started a few mothers from two different strains, Liberty Haze from Barney's Farm and Critical Mass from Mr. Nice Seeds. I'm looking to do some experiments with those. For instance I want to be able to know if those particular strains produce more single topped, double topped, or not topped at all . No one seems to be able to provide a straight answer for that. I don't care if the plant has less buds if the fewer buds are larger and weigh more than the few. Also The thicker buds (generally the ones on the top of the plant) are more potent than the small popcorn buds down below.

    To the people who posted about cutting leaves off, I've read in many places that you shouldn't unless the leaf is more than 50 percent damaged/discolored. As the other posters have said, the plant still uses them for nutrients/energy. This also should make you feel better about yellowing through the stages of flower, as this is completely natural. I leave on as many leaves as I can when I'm pruning off branches.

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    Re: Trimming Branches in Flower

    Great thread guys i enjoyed watching this conversation.Learned a lot in this thread .Day 21 and 45 seem to be good days to do some bottom pruning in flower of coarse.

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