Pruning is a necessity for any garden. Whether keeping summer plant growth from over-running your yard, or taking your property beauty up a level. Join landscape designer Doug Scott as he explains how to select the right pruning tool for your next job.
Types of Pruning Tools
- Bypass Pruners (also known as hand pruners or pruning shears) work much like a set of heavy-duty scissors. These are useful for most basic yard pruning.
- Anvil-style shears, have only one sharp blade that closes against a flat, wide blade—much like a knife cutting against a cutting board.
- Loppers require both hands to use and are better for cutting branches larger than one-half to three-fourths of an inch in diameter. They have long handles to increase cutting power and decrease the arm strength required. Loppers are capable of cutting branches up to about two inches in diameter. The two most common types of loppers are bypass and anvil. Bypass models use a one-sided blade that slices past a thick base as it closes, while anvil models have a dual-sided blade that slices to the center of the fat lower base to complete the cut.
- A Pruning saw is normally made out of a medium length blade which is either straight or a curved and attached to a secure handle. At times the handle is also curved so that it allows better angle for cutting curved thick branches.
Tips to Select the Right Pruning Tool
- Opt for bypass-style pruning shears to crush living stems less, or to get into tight spots better for close, precise cuts.
- Purchase the best pruning sheers you can afford, as a high-quality set that is well cared for can be a lifetime investment for the average homeowner.
- If you need to make more precise cuts on smaller, living branches, go with bypass loppers. For larger branches or cutting dead wood, however, anvil loppers are a more powerful—albeit, less precise—option.
- For trimming branches larger than two inches in diameter, a pruning saw is the best tool to choose.
- Always wear appropriate safety eyewear and sturdy work gloves, and clean and dry your tools thoroughly once pruning has been completed.