A Guide to Tree Pruning Tools

tools-for-pruning-treesThe months when your tree is dormant and fresh growth hasn’t yet been ignited by spring are prime times to prune. However, hacking away at branches can do more damage than good.

Wondering what tools you’ll need to successfully prune the trees in your yard? Here’s a full rundown, as outlined by the Arbor Day Foundation.

 

Tree Pruning Tools For Small Branches

Under 1 inch diameter: use hand pruners.
Up to 2 inches diameter: use lopping shears.

Hand pruners and lopping shears are available in anvil and by-pass cutting styles. The anvil style cuts the branch between a straight blade and an anvil or block. The by-pass style uses a curved cutting blade that slides past a broader blade, much like a scissors. To prevent tearing or crushing of branches, the by-pass style cutting blade is the best.

Tree Pruning Tools For Medium Branches

2 to 4 inches in diameter: Use a pruning saw

No any old hacksaw won’t do. Unlike most other saws, pruning saws are designed to cut on the “pull-stroke” which minimizes damage to the tree.

Tree Pruning Tools For Large Branches

Larger than 4 inches in diameter: Use a chainsaw.

A chainsaw is a serious piece of equipment and should only be used by experienced individual or professionals with the use of additional safety kit.

Tree Pruning Tools For High-Up Branches

For out-of-reach branches use a pole pruner. Generally, pole pruners have a pruning head (similar to a lopping
sheer) and a pruning saw. The pruning head can cut branches up to 1.5 inches.

How to Care for Tree Pruning Tools

Before you begin pruning be sure to sanitize your tools to prevent the spread of disease. During the pruning process they can come into contact with fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that cause disease in trees, and fresh wounds caused during pruning are an entry way for these pathogens to infect the tree.

Sanitize your tools with a solution of 1 part liquid household bleach to 9 parts water. Soak tools in the solution for 2 minutes before making a cut, then clean thoroughly with soapy water before storing for next season.


As Charleston tree service professionals we have a strategic approach to pruning and a fully equipped selection of tools suitable for a variety of tree sizes, so if DIY isn’t your thing Charleston Stump Stompers & Tree Service and one of your professional arborists will take care of the task for you.

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