How to Safely Prune Tree Branches with a Pole Saw

Pruning helps trees develop healthily, bloom, grow fruit and maintain a desirable shape. During the seasons when storms, strong winds and hurricanes may strike unexpectedly, keeping trees pruned minimizes the risk of falling branches. This can prevent injury and damage to property.

The best time for pruning is in the dormant season, which falls between late winter and early spring. This is when trees have no leaves and wounds can heal quickly. Branches are easy to prune when they are young and still growing, because they are still small and tender.

Safely Prune Tree Branches with a Pole SawPin
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Pruning fully grown trees, on the other hand, can be challenging. This is largely due to the fact that you will not be able to reach the branches with a pruning saw. Having a professional do this for you is an option, or you can climb a ladder and carry out the pruning task.

In this article we give you another option, pruning trees with a pole saw. You will learn how to use a pole saw to safely prune trees.

What Is A Pole Saw?

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Knowing what a pole saw is, is a starting point. It is basically a powered chainsaw on a pole. It can be operated by gas, petrol, batteries, or electricity. It could also be a non-powered or manual pole saw. So, what can a pole saw do? It is mainly used for pruning high tree branches.

Before the pole saw, you would have had to stand on a ladder and trim branches with a chainsaw, moving the ladder every now and then. The pole saw allows you to remain on the ground while still reaching these high branches, minimizing both effort and risk of injury.

Choosing An Appropriate Pole Saw

What should you consider when choosing a pole saw? You need to think about the height of the trees, the size and the price of the pole saw when considering which one you should purchase. Examine the dimensions of the trees that you’re going to be cutting, and then decide on the pole length and bar size.

Longer bars will enable you to cut thicker branches. You should buy a chainsaw sharpener to ensure that the cutting blade is kept sharp. Weight is another important factor to consider. A light-weight saw is the easiest type of saw to use. Electric powered pole saws, which are under 12 pounds, tend to be lighter than petrol or gas pole saws.

Using The Pole Saw To Prune Trees

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When pruning trees using a pole saw, the following rules should be followed:

  • Clear the working site of people and animals, since falling branches may cause injury.
  • Clear any obstacles.
  • Plan an escape route in case of injury.
  • Never prune tree branches by a power line. You could accidentally cut the line.
  • Wear protective glasses, a helmet and gloves for protection.
  • Use a chain saw sharpener to sharpen your pole saw before use. This will help you cut the branches easily.

Plan which branches you are going to cut beforehand. Position yourself so that you can hold the pole saw vertically in a controlled manner.

Most cuts will be made perpendicular to the branch, so that gravity is on your side. For a jump cut or bottom-up cut, you will need to put in more effort. This is because you are cutting against gravity.

Small branches are easy to trim, however large branches often require 3-4 cuts to remove them from the tree. The first cut should be 6-10 inches from the trunk’s underside. You may cut one third or half way through.

The second cut should be about an inch from the first cut. Cut downwards until the branch falls onto the ground. Watch the branch carefully so that you can move out of its way when it falls. Before making a final cut, look for the branch collar which grows from stem tissue around the branch’s base.

Don’t cut through the collar, because it possesses cells that help the wound heal after pruning. Most trees can heal wounds themselves, however latex could be used to cover the wounds to prevent insect transmitted diseases such as oak wilt.

Don’t let the branches pile up around your cutting area. It is advisable to clear fallen branches before cutting the next branches, so that you have an obstacle-free space to move around in while cutting. These branches can be seasoned into firewood. If you have large branches, use a wood splitting maul to split them into smaller pieces.

Pole saws may be difficult to use at first, but practice makes perfect! Try cutting small branches before attempting to cut larger ones. Seeing your tree branches neatly stacked and knowing that your tree can now heal itself is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.

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