Uncle Ben's Topping Technique to get 2 or 4 MAIN colas
Based on quite a few questions about topping I've received here: Fimming and Topping 101 I decided to reproduce a thread on my favorite topping method published at cann.com about 10 years ago. Even though I've got much better photos from many latter grows both indoor and outdoor, I'm gonna stick with the old photos from the original thread. Lighting is HPS from start to finish with the exception of using 4' long shop fluors from germ until about 2 weeks. Some pix were taken outdoors for better resolution thanks to an old camcorder I was using.
Selecting the point for topping to get 4 main colas -
To get 4 main colas, let your seedling or cutting (clone) grow to about 5-6 nodes and pinch out (cut) the stem just above the 2nd true node. The node where the cotyledons attach doesn't count. The result will be a redistribution of the auxins and other hormones that normally collect in the tissue of the terminal leader's tip. These ho moans will be redistributed to dormant buds that reside in the nodal axis where the leaf petiole attaches to the "trunk", below the cut. The new foliar output response will be quick (within 24 hrs., see photo below) if you have a healthy growing seedling and will be your future main colas - 4 instead of the usual 1:
Here's a photo of the same plant about 8 weeks into flowering. The plant is about 42" tall, has 4 main colas with an abundance of large, healthy fan leaves.
This is an indoor shot just prior to harvest showing the colas bulking up quite nicely. Notice how the weight of the heavy colas is naturally pulling them apart, which opens the plant up so that light can penetrate the interior of the canopy. This is the same principle used by fruit orchard managers who create an open vase profile for their trees in order to increase production. This profile also has a side benefit of providing good interior air movement which reduces fungal/rot pressures.
The plant after harvest showing the branching scaffold and dominant 4 main cola "trunks", opposing nodes one right above the other. Smaller secondary branches also provided good bud production. This plant yielded over 10 oz of cured bud.
~ Topping for 2 main colas ~
Pinch out the seedling above the 1st true node to get 2 main colas:
Any questions, fire away.