Being a gardener, there are many tools you will require to properly execute your tasks. One of such tools is a tree pruner. In this article, I’ll be looking at the best tree pruners.
I’ll also talk about how to use a tree pruner, as well as the types of tree pruners.
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Tree Pruner
There are a few factors you need to consider before you place an order for a tree pruner. Without considering these factors, you may buy a pruner that won’t give you the desired results.
The factors are listed below –
Blade type and construction
A pruner is a cutting tool, and the major part of any cutting tool is the blade. Knowing this, you have to consider the blade type, and its construction before you buy it.
If the blades of your pruner aren’t sharp enough, then the results you will get after pruning will be less than satisfactory.
Carbon steel blades or hardened steel blades are your best bet. Go for blades that have a non-stick coating so you can avoid having clippings stuck to your blade while working.
This is another key factor you have to consider, being that the pruner’s functionality is what will determine if you’ll have easy working experience or not.
Go for pruners that have compound-action loppers, because this type of machine comes with multiple pivot joints. This will allow you to maneuver easily around the tree you are pruning.
Length of the handle
Short tree pruners usually have handles of about 15 inches in length. The taller ones have handles of about 32 inches in length.
The type of pruning job you want to execute will determine the kind of handle length best suited for the task.
Besides the blade sharpness, the cutting diameter is another factor you have to consider.
If you go for a tree pruner that cuts a maximum branch diameter of 2 inches, then keep in mind you won’t be able to use such a pruner on thicker branches.
Most tree pruners can cut branches with a diameter of about 3 inches. To cut larger, thicker branches, you will need a pruning saw attachment.
The size or height of the tree is a factor you have to think about before you buy your tree pruner.
If the tree you’re planning to prune is small, then you can go for a tree pruner with a short reach. On the other hand, if you’re going to be pruning taller trees, then you should go for a pruner that offers maximum reach.
Many models of extendable tree pruners are there for you to choose from. Keep in mind that the extendable pruner you buy should have a firm, non-slip ergonomic grip. This will help you maintain balance as you work from range.
The range of tree pruners can be as low as half afoot, to as lengthy as 20 feet.
Tree pruning isn’t a job that’ll last a few minutes, it could take several hours before the job is done. You wouldn’t want to carry a heavy pruner during such a time frame.
Lightweight pruners are your best bet. They will help make your job more convenient and precise. They will also keep you from tiring out too quickly.
Since pruners are handheld tools, it means the grip has to be firm enough.
A pruner with a poor grip wouldn’t allow you to cut properly. Pruning isn’t such an easy task, so why buy a pruner that has a substandard grip? It will only make your job harder.
Buy a pruner that has an ergonomically made, non-slip grip. This will give you a more convenient pruning experience.
Types Of Tree Pruners
There are 3 main types of tree pruners. These include –
- Pruning shears
- Pole pruners
Pruning shears – This is the most popular pruning tool for the average gardener. They are usually small in size and are designed with two handles that are held in one hand.
They have two cutting blades.
They are designed to cut branches no more than ½ inches thick and are perfect for trimming twigs, offshoots, leaves, and thin branches.
Loppers – Loppers are larger than shears. They have two handles and two cutting blades. Unlike shears, they have to be operated with 2 hands.
A good Lopper should be able to cut branches of about 2 inches thick, sometimes a bit more. This depends on the strength and porosity of the wood being cut.
They can handle tougher cutting duties than shears.
Pole pruners – This is the toughest of all the tree pruners. It is attached at the end of a long pole and can be used on much larger trees.
It is operated with the use of a control rope and can allow you to reach high branches. Pole pruners eliminate the need for ladders.
Be warned that this is a tool meant for professional arborists, simply because it is more dangerous to use. The blades are a lot sharper than those of shears and loppers, and there is a risk of cut-off branches falling on the user.
Do you now see why it’s a tool meant for the pros?
Recommended Tree Pruners For 2020
Now that you’ve considered the above factors, and have been enlightened on the 3 main types of tree pruners, let us look at some of the best models available in the market.
Fiskars Pole Pruner
This tree pruner will save you the stress of climbing up a ladder, thanks to its long reach. It has an overall length of 14 feet and it offers superior cutting ability.
This extendable tool has a maximum cutting capacity of 1-1/2 inch diameter.
- Good for heavy-duty use
- Suitable for high tree branches
- It’s heavy
- Susceptible to moisture
Milliard Extendable Tree Pruner
This is another great pruner for high branches. It has a 1.25 inches cutting power so it’s great for cutting larger branches.
It has a compound pulley system incorporated inside the pruning head which makes your job simpler.
- The foam at the base of the handle gives the user a comfortable grip
- It is sturdy
- Its top section is flimsy
Corona TP 6870
This tree pruner is made with a sturdy zinc-alloy pruning head and high carbon finished steel blade that offers smooth, clean cuts.
It has a cutting capacity of 1-1/4 inch diameter. Also, it’s designed with a heavy-duty chain-drive compound action pulley system.
For comfort, it has a 24-inch foam grip on the handles so the risk of hand injury is greatly reduced.
- The blades are very sharp
- It is lightweight
- It not so durable
Fiskars Compact Tree Pruner
While it doesn’t have the kind of reach the Fiskars pole pruner has, it can still offer you up to 8 feet of reach. This kind of reach still eliminates the need for a ladder.
The length is adjustable and can be collapsed to a length of 3 feet. This also makes it easy to store when not in use, since you can reduce the length.
It designed with a triple-ground type power tooth blade that allows you to cut through dense wood with maximum efficiency.
- It is lightweight and compact
- It is very durable
- Doesn’t have the reach for branches higher than 8 feet
How To Use A Tree Pruner
Using a tree pruner goes beyond cutting. There are preparatory steps involved too.
Here’s how to use a tree pruner –
Before you start cutting, you need to envision how you want the finished work to look like. This will help you select the tree pruner to use for the job.
Take a look at the branches that need to be cut and plan accordingly.
Remember, cut off branches can’t be re-attached, this is why you have to plan first.
Choose the right time
It is easier to prune when you don’t have so many leaves blocking your vision.
The best time to prune is during the end of the winter period, or early in the spring.
Get the right pruner for the job and start cutting
After your plan has been drawn, get the pruner best suited for the task ahead and proceed to cut.
Make sure the blades have been sharpened first, so you can get smooth, precise cuts.
Here’s how to cut
- If the pruner blade is folded inwards, then you need to unfold it and tighten the blot so the blade is kept in place
- For telescopic pole pruners, unscrew the pole and extend to the desired height, then screw back tightly to ensure the pole remains extended
- Carefully cut off the branches while maintaining steady feet and hands so you don’t cut unintended branches
There are different types of pruners and each has its special features. You can look through the user manual of the pruner you buy to guide you with the specifics of that particular model.
I hope this article on the best tree pruners has been helpful. I also trust the information provided on how to use a tree pruner would help you with your pruning.