Guide to manual telescopic pruners
A yard full of greenery with tall trees and hedges is a dream for many. They provide a sense of serenity, a connection with nature and a greater level of privacy for your home. However, hedges and trees will require regular, ongoing pruning and maintenance to retain their appearance and continue to fit within the constraints of the house and land size. Pruning tall branches and shrubs requires considerable physical effort, which can be dangerous if working on ladders and using the wrong tools. A better solution is using tools specifically designed for high reach pruning, such as telescopic pole saws and extendable loppers, which enable you to undertake these tasks while standing firmly on the ground. We will discuss why and when you should prune trees and shrubs, and how to choose the right pole saw or lopper for your needs.
Trees and shrubs naturally want to grow to their genetic limits, choosing the shape, form and size for the environment they are in. In simple terms, pruning is undertaken to change a plant’s shape, form, fruit bearing potential, maintain its health, for safety or to restrict its growth.
Pruning for health
Pruning for plant health focuses on removing dead, dying or diseased branches. Disease in trees often enters through tree wounds and dead tissue, where branches have broken or become damaged. Disease can often spread throughout the tree unless measures are taken to remove the diseased part. If your trees or shrubs have any dead, diseased, damaged or dying branches it is important to remove these as soon as possible. Pruning is also important to maintain an open structure which allows free airflow, reducing the risk of pests and diseases taking hold.
Pruning for safety
Often larger trees will experience dieback on some older branches which, depending upon the species, can create a safety issue with falling branches (many Eucalypt species are renowned for this). There may also be instances where branches grow across or close to power lines or houses. It is important to be preemptive in removing these branches before they cause a risk to life or property.
Pruning for tree shape/form
Formative pruning, particularly in early years, will result in a tree or shrub with well spaced, well defined branches and stems which will reduce the possibility of future breakages. It is also easier to care for and manage trees later in their life if early stage pruning has been undertaken.
When to prune trees?
If you are looking to stimulate new growth then pruning in late winter/early spring usually encourages the tree to produce lots of new shoots. Delaying pruning until mid-summer can reduce the amount of growth a tree will have over the growing season. This can also have the benefit of encouraging fruiting/flowering for the next season.
How often should trees be pruned?
For home gardens regular pruning is recommended to limit growth, maintain form and, if desired, to encourage flowering/fruiting. It is much better for tree health to undertake regular, smaller pruning than larger ad-hoc pruning.
Telescopic Pole Saws
Telescopic pole saws are ideal for pruning hard-to-reach branches and palm fronds. They offer a safe, quick way of removing branches from 3cm in diameter right up to large 30cm diameter limbs, and eliminate the prospect of falling off a ladder while holding a saw or lopper.. The telescoping nature of hand operated pole saws make it easy to extend out to the desired length whilst maintaining a safe distance from the branch being pruned.
At Forestry Tools, our recommended pole saws include the Barnel Telescopic Pole Saw (three different sizes), and Silky Hayate 7.7m Telescopic Pole Saw. Both pole saws feature an oval shaped aluminium pole for the best balance between weight and rigidity. The Barnel comes with a quick release, push button pole and toggle pin, enabling a solid position locking and fast installation/removal of the blade from the pole. The Silky Hayate is one of our best sellers and is perfect for professionals pruning large branches at higher positions. It is one of the most robust and fastest telescopic pole saws available due to the thickness of the pole section and the blade construction.
High Reach Pruners & Loppers
While telescopic pole saws provide excellent results for pruning branches and palm fronds they are not as suitable for pruning smaller branches (<30mm) and soft, new growth. For this type of pruning it is best to use a long reach lopper or telescopic pruner, depending upon the task.
At Forestry Tools, we recommend the Nishigaki Futomaru 2m Lopper and the Bahco ATP-230-410 Top Pruner for cutting smaller branches and the Barnel B188Z6-10 Telescopic Pruner for cutting soft, new growth (up to 10mm diameter). The Nishigaki Futomaru can reach places ordinary loppers can not, cutting up to 40mm diameter branches. It features one fixed and one movable handle providing significant leverage for cutting thick branches. The Bahco Top Pruner is made of lightweight aluminium, making it easier to manoeuvre with its extensive six-metre reach. Cut up to 32mm diameter branches with the Bahco lever slicing system that makes cutting easy work. Both telescopic loppers are extremely strong and durable. The Barnel Telescopic Pruner is a light weight, trigger operated pruner that is easy to position and use.
Regular maintenance of trees and shrubs will enhance your garden, assist in maintaining healthy plants and provide safety. Our range of pruning tools are designed to make your garden maintenance efficient and safe.