Trimming and pruning are the most important ways of keeping trees and other plants healthy and in good shape. They encourage leaf, flower, and fruit growth, help prevent diseases, and give your garden a great look. Most yards have at least one or two trees which require regular maintenance. That is why every property owner should make sure that they regularly trim and prune their trees to keep them healthy and happy.
Different tree species have variations in the shape and size of their branches, growth and development rates, and respond differently to seasonal changes. That is why some plants need special attention and need to be pruned twice a year, while others just need a cut every few years.
To perform pruning and trimming the right way, you must equip yourself with the proper tools. The tools you would use will depend on the tree’s age, size, and specie.
Remember, however, that all trimming and pruning tools are sharp and dangerous, so if you are not experienced with their usage, especially on bigger trees, try to consult a professional team or hire them to do the job for you. That way, you will prevent injuries and save your trees from potential damage, which inexperienced pruning and trimming can cause.
Let’s review the most important information about some of the best and most frequently used trimming and pruning tools.
Tree Trimming and Pruning Tools
Since trimming and pruning are similar procedures but done for different reasons, it is not surprising that similar or identical tools are used for both. Your tools are your tree’s best friends because they will do the job a tree cannot do by itself. It stands for both aesthetic trimming and regular pruning.
Pruning shears, known as pruners or secateurs, are frequently used in gardening, nature conservation, farming, flower arranging, tree trimming and pruning, and many other occasions. They are pretty small compared to other tools. In other words, they are perfectly fit for using only one hand to remove smaller branches. You can use them on smaller trees, smaller tree branches, bushes, roses, or other smaller plants.
They have two sharp blades facing each other, just like scissors, and handles are covered in rubber or soft materials that protect the palm of a hand. A little spring between the handles helps the secateurs jaws to open again after closing. Blades are usually made of stainless or carbon steel and sometimes coated in titanium for extra strength and protection from oxidation.
Snips are very similar to pruners, only smaller. They, too, have two scissor-like blades but are used for the minor branches and the lightest cutting jobs. Using them on non-woody plants is best because they are softer and not as strong as secateurs or larger pruners.
Loppers share similarities with secateurs and snips because they have two shorter scissors-like blades. The main difference is in the handles. While pruners have short handles, loppers have long ones that allow you to reach for further branches and apply more pressure on thicker ones. Because loppers have such long handles, they will enable you to use a wider shoulder grip and all upper and lower arm muscles, not just the muscles in your forearm (like with small pruners). Because of that, you can cut bigger and thicker branches without too much struggle.
Anvil pruners look like loppers, but the difference is that they tend to crush the tree at the point of impact instead of making a clean cut like secateurs or loppers. That is why you should not use them on living branches. They can damage the living tree tissues and leave them vulnerable to diseases and pests. It is best to use them on dry branches.
A pruning saw is a handy tool for trimming bigger and heavier branches too large for pruners and loppers. It consists of one solid, nicked, sharp edge that easily cuts into the tree.
Pruning saws can differ, from smaller ones (not longer than a few inches) to larger ones (longer than 10 inches). Their handle can also vary in size and length – some saws have long handles that help you reach further branches from the ground. Others have shorter handles for branches that are within your reach.
A chainsaw is the final piece of equipment for proper tree trimming and pruning. It is used for bigger branches and can be used for complete tree removal. It is also one of the most dangerous gardening tools that can lead to injuries if not used correctly.
A chainsaw consists of a rotating blade fueled by the engine in the body of a saw. Edges are not that sharp, but once the engine runs, it rotates the edges fast enough to make them a robust cutting tool.
Additional Tree Trimming and Pruning Equipment
Trimming and pruning trees require the usage of ladders because most of the branches are higher above the ground and are hard to reach if you do not climb the tree. Ladders allow you to go for higher branches quickly, but be careful when using them alone because if your support is not stable, you could fall and suffer injuries.
Safety gear is as essential as any other gardening tool. Whether you are a professional or an amateur gardener, you have to use it. It will help you stay safe, protect vital parts of your body, prevent injuries, and reduce damage if the injuries occur.
Safety gear consists of several tools which protect various body parts. The most commonly used protective pieces of equipment are:
- Safety glasses
- Face shields
- Ear protection
- Chainsaw chap
- Hard hat,
- Protective footwear
How to Care for Your Tools?
Good equipment is essential because it prevents additional tree wounding and helps you or the professional team finish the job faster with more efficiency. Dirty tools can have lots of bacteria, so using them could cause diseases and attract pests.
To avoid worst-case scenarios, you should ensure that your tools are clean, sharp, and properly oiled.
The best option for cleaning your tools is to use rubbing alcohol or diluted bleach solution, which will not damage the device but will kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other microbes that can infect living trees.
Sharpening can be done in different ways, depending on the blade type and frequency of usage. If you use the blade a lot, it will require more frequent sharpening. You can sharpen tools using hand files or take them to experts and let them do it for you.
Finally, oiling your tools prevents them from getting stuck and will also make your devices more resistant to humidity.
Why Is It Important to Use Good Tools?
Every tree has its natural defense system, which protects it from outside threats related to pests, animals, diseases, weather, physical damage, and so on. That defense system is affected every time you cut a branch from a tree. If your tools are old, damaged, or not sharp enough, that could make tree wounds bigger than they have to be and leave the tree more susceptible to diseases, pests, and weather conditions. In a worst-case scenario, inadequate tools could lead to the death of a tree, especially if the tree is young or already weakened by diseases.
That is why keeping regular care of your tools is crucial. Their condition can significantly influence the pace of your work (damaged devices require more time to handle them properly, or they drastically slow down the process of trimming/pruning), the conditions of the tree, and the overall quality of the work you have done.
And remember that trimming and pruning can be dangerous because it involves using sharp, heavy tools and machinery. If you do not have experience, do not do it yourself. It is always safer to contact a team of experts to get the job done properly and safely.