Second order branches on a larch

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Cardiff, UK
A couple of years ago I got a European larch sapling which I'm pushing in the direction of a formal upright, largely as a learning exercise on the species.

Last year I freely allowed the primary branch structure to extend. However, this year I find that I have very few secondary branches from these close to the trunk (I appreciate I should have anticipated this, but too late now!) The only ones I have are starting to push from nearer the tips.

I clearly need these secondaries nearer the trunk, but how to get them? If I just chop the branch back to a needle whorl nearer the trunk, will this create at least a new terminal bud that I can work as it extends? Will I get back buds even further back? Or will I just end up killing the branch entirely? I've seen very mixed information on larch budding.

Assuming I am able to cut back, when to do it? The tree has now woken up and whorls formed, and the new branches are just starting to push. ASAP, or Summer, or wait til next Winter?

The primary branches have lignified over winter, but are only a year old. Some things I've seen suggest age of the wood matters.


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