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Front Page » May 16, 2002 » Castle County Homes and Gar... » Suggested tools for that pruning job
Published 4,544 days ago

Suggested tools for that pruning job


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By JERRY GOODSPEED
USU Extension


There are as many pruning tools as there are plants to prune. You can visit the store to buy a simple pruner and end up being bombarded with everything from bow saws to motorized pole pruners. The temptation is to buy anything that is on sale and hope it does the job. Withstand this temptation. Here are tips on selecting the right tool for your pruning job.

•The most common pruning tool is a hand pruner. It is used for cutting perennials and any woody stem less than the width of your thumb. For this job, choose bypass pruners over the anvil type. A sharp bypass pruner is less damaging to the stem and easier to maintain. A hand pruner may cost between $25 and $45, but it will last up to 15 years.

•For pruning wood about the diameter of a shovel handle, purchase a pair of bypass loppers. It is critical to get a strong pair that can be kept sharp since many people use loppers more than any other pruning tool.

For wood larger in diameter than a sledge hammer handle, purchase a pruning saw. Most homeowners don't often need to cut large branches, but if the need arises, a pruning saw or bow saw is the right tool.

Pole pruners are great for getting a kite off the roof or a ball out of the gutter, but they are generally misused when it comes to pruning. People commonly use them when they do not want to use a ladder to cut a tall branch. Generally, they make poor pruning cuts and it takes quite a bit of practice to learn how to use them properly. The telescoping handles on pole pruners make it possible to reach the top of many fruit trees without using a ladder. Use them for smaller limbs (1 to 1-1/2inches in diameter).

•The next tool is a chain saw, which isn't normally recommended. Chain saws make it easy to cut a branch or two, but are often misused. If a chain saw is required for pruning, it may be time to consider another tree. A small chain saw runs from $75 to $125.

•Before going to the nursery to buy a pruning tool, know what you plan to cut, then buy the tool that is best suited for the job.


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May 16, 2002
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