If you have trees or shrubs that need trimming, and the branches are just out-of-reach, consider using an extendable pruning and saw tool. The long pole allows you to stand a safe distance away as you work, and the trimmed branches fall safely to the ground.
This is part of a series with Tips and Tools for Pruning in your garden.
The Tree Branch Problem
This all started last summer when, every time we had some wind at night, I was awakened by a scratching-screeching sound near the roof of the house. Knowing the topic of this post, you can probably guess what was going on.
Some tree branches were rubbing against the soffits and rain gutters (or, eavestroughs, as we call them here), creating an annoying eeee-aw eeee-aw sound with every gust of wind. And, with the tree located right outside our bedroom, the noise would wake me up several times each night.
I wanted to take care of the problem myself, but, even with a 12-foot extension ladder, I could not get close enough to saw off the offending branches.
I then got a few quotes from local arborists, and, startled by the cost, I went back to Plan A. And that’s when I got my hands on this pruning tool.
Get the Right Tool for the Job
This extendable pruning tool and saw by Fiskars is two tools in one. There is a pruner blade for smaller branches, and a separate, heavy-duty saw for thicker ones.
The key to safely removing overhead branches is work from the side, never below the branches.
With a long-reaching tool like this, you can stand a good distance away, operate the saw, and let the branches fall to the ground.
The pole extends from 7 to 16-feet in length, and, combined with your own height —that’s a good amount of reach. I found that by pressing down on the handle as I sawed, I could remove a 4-inch thick branch in under a minute. It’s so much easier—and safer—to work this way than up a ladder! My husband posed for the photos but I actually did all the trimming because, when you have the right pruning tools, it’s quite enjoyable.
The big saw blade has a hook shape at the end which helps keep it from slipping out of place as you saw.
After removing the main branches, I tested the pruning blade which you will see next.
Easy, Long-Distance Pruning
The pruning blade is very sharp and you operate it by pulling on the long rope attached to it. I was doubtful it would work but it it really is so sharp that it goes right through the small branches (up to 1.25″ thick) in one go. I proceeded to clean up all of my fruit trees, taking off the unwanted top branches that I have never been able to reach. Very satisfying! Between the saw and the pruner, I got all the trimming done.
Here’s the noisy tree with its new haircut. Now when the wind blows, I hear nothing but wind.
The tool worked exactly as I hoped, and, bonus, the tree is no longer waking me up in the night.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛