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Pruning Tools

Use the Right Tools for Pruning

The right tools make pruning easier and help you do a good job. Keeping tools well-maintained and sharp will improve their performance. There are many tools for pruning, but the following will probably suffice for most applications:

• A good pair of pruning shears is probably one of the most important tools. Cuts up to 3/4 inches in diameter may be made with them.

pruning shears

• Lopping shears are similar to pruning shears, but withlopping shears, long handles provide greater leverage needed to cut branches up to 1 - 1/2 inches in diameter.

loppers

• Hedge shears are meant only for pruning hedges, nothing else. They usually cut succulent or small stems best.

hedge shears
• Hand saws are very important for cutting branches more than 1 inch in diameter. Many types of hand saws are available. Special tri-cut or razor tooth pruning saws cut through larger branches — up to 4 inches in diameter — with ease.

pruning sawcrosscut saw

• Pole saws allow for extended reach with a long handle, but they must be used carefully as it’s difficult to achieve clean cuts with them.

pole saw

• Small chain saws are available for use on larger branches. Operators must wear protective clothing and exercise caution when using them. Never use chain saws to reach above your shoulders or when you are on a ladder.

Source: University of Minnesota Horticutural Extension
Mike Zins and Deborah Brown, Pruning Trees and Shrubs, Item # 00628, 1997, All rights reserved

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