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Ok so my 11 plants (down from 12, oh well) are about 30 days into flowering and only a few of them are showing healthy, rapid signs of pistil production.
I have begun trimming fan leaves that are covering lower bud sites, and I was wondering if I could trim ALL of the very large fan leaves and leave all other leaves on the plant without seriously effecting the bud production.
Imagine this, you have a solar panel array that has a few big panels and some small panels. If you remove the big panels do you think you'll receive as much power now?
Same thing applies to plants, you remove all those large fans and you've effectively removed the power generators for your plants. You should only trim fan leaves when they become too diseased to live, are dead, or are eaten to shreds by pests. Otherwise you're much better off tucking the fan leaves away under some stems or buds.
Now, I will say removing one or two for better light penetration is not that big of a deal, but when you remove most of your large fans you're just screwing yourself.
If you have a dense canopy you can cut away the lower branches that receive little light. This will send more hormones to the budding sites that are receiving stronger light and can increase budgrowth. Some strains are very picky though and do not respond well to pruning during flowering so use pruning techniques at your own discretion.
p.s. A general rule of thumb is to never trim more than 1/3 of your plant.