Cutting back vigorous growing leaders (Picea & Abies)
Shooting out an example here.
Lets say you have a spruce or fir that puts out a 15" leader. By late summer you notice only a couple buds along the leader.
Since I like full plants I end up cutting the leader half way back to one of the buds late winter.
The only reason I'd do this is that I'm under the impression that shoot isn't likely to put out additional buds.
If the leader is loaded with nice radial buds there is no point in cutting back the leader (unless you want a fatter plant).
OR am I better off cutting back that 15" leader early summer in hopes of getting bud development up front?