Timing to defoliate is probably good, but looking back over my notes, it seems that 6 weeks might be a little optimistic to expect it to be full again. If you didn't repot it this year, your chances improve. If you did, it might have some unevenness in leaf size and coverage at 6 weeks.
I agree it may not be the best plan with these time constraints. This tree was not re-potted this year and is not real big. What I might try is the method of removing only the largest leaves and/or clip others in half. But not the whole tree at one time.
Depends on what you're trying to do. You probably know full defoliation will reduce leaf size in the next budding; partial defoliation should encourage new buds closer to the trunk, but not encourage much new growth this year.
Last year, I removed 1 leaf from each pair of leaves to get sunlight into the interior and it really slowed the transpiration and root growth. It still looked "presentable" for the rest of the year, so it may be an option for you as well. I think it stimulated some internal budding this year, but leaves are definitely smaller this year.
Brian, This is very helpful. Great comparative photos. Thanks very much. NICE tree. I think that I will try your technique.
axxonn, No, our local club in Utica has a show in Little Falls, NY. I see that mid-May is very popular for spring shows. Avoids Mothers Day weekend (today) and Memorial Day weekend. Rochester has the premier regional show & sale the week following ours. We try not to 'compete'.