There’s so much more to pruning than just starting to cut away at trees, shrubs, and hedges. Before you get ahead of yourself, or before you can even consider doing a proper job, you’ll need to ensure that you have all of the proper equipment:
Eye Protection – Safety glasses are crucial to help protect your eyes from falling leaves and branches. They will also make it easier for you to focus on what you are doing.
Ear Protection – Something that is often overlooked is ear protection, but it really is one of the key items you need for personal safety to help prevent hearing loss. Over-the-head earmuffs are ideal, but at the very least, you need ear plugs.
Pruning Gloves – It should go without saying to always have gloves on for protection when doing outdoor tasks. In pruning, you could easily harm your hands, wrists, and forearms without them.
Rubbing Alcohol – A solution of rubbing alcohol and water is great for keeping your tools clean and works to fend off possible lingering diseases.
Pruning Shears – Pruning shears are the most used tool when it comes to pruning shrubs, flowers, small growths on trees, and vines.
Hedge Shears – These are different from pruning shears. If you have hedges, evergreens, deadheading perennials, or small shrubs, you will definitely need a pair of hedge shears. They cut branches up to 2.25 inches thick.
Pruning Saw – A pruning saw is a tool with the same sharp teeth as saws that are used for cutting lumber, however, pruning saws are intended for trimming live shrubs and trees. There are many different types of pruning saws, each intended for a particular type of branch or stem. A pruning saw will handle branches 1.5 to 5 inches in diameter.
Loppers – Loppers are commonly used for pruning fruit trees, nut trees, and vines. They are ideal for branches that are up to 2.5 inches thick.
Pole Pruner – In pruning, you may have trouble reaching certain heights, so that is where your pole pruner comes in handy. They can reach 8 feet or higher and likely eliminate your need for a ladder. They can cut branches up to 1.25 inches in diameter. Electric versions are available for purchase as well.
Regardless of what type of equipment you are using, it is imperative to maintain it. Making sure your equipment is in good condition and sharp is a number one priority when it comes to pruning. This will enable you to do a better job pruning, as well as protect you from a safety standpoint.
Keeping your equipment clean also means that you’ll be removing tree sap and remnants of disease that could be spread from tree to tree. It’s a great idea to keep a wet rag in your pocket (water & alcohol) while pruning so that you can wipe down the blades before moving onto the next tree, plant, shrub, or hedge.
All of this can sound very overwhelming, and proper pruning takes training and skills, so hiring a professional pruner / arborist is a great investment to get the job done right, without any worries.
If you are looking for help with pruning in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, or Pitt Meadows, be sure to call us at ATC Landscape. We’ve been in business since 2001, so rest assured, you would be in very safe and capable hands!