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Q&A: Trim Branches

Do you have to trim the lower branches of a tomato plant so that the plant will have more yield?
It is best to trim off the suckers between the leaves when they are 1-2 inches(2.5 to 5cm) long by hand instead of a knife - less danger of spreading disease. As the plant matures and fruit is harvested, the yellowing leaves below trusses (fruit clusters) that have been completely harvested should be removed. Do not remove green leaves, as they nourish the maturing fruit. At all times, about 4-5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) of foliage and fruit clusters should remain on the upper part of the plant. The above applies to tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
Yes, you must do this before it starts flowering.
This is something I have never done (except for removing the suckers, of course). I have never heard of removing leaves at any stage of the tomato's life, let alone before it starts flowering. I have noticed that outdoors, these yellowing leaves eventually dry up and fall off, but I always consider this a natural part of the plant's life cycle and have never considered speeding up the process. Perhaps this is something that must be done in a hydroponics system.