Proper garden maintenance is the key to a green and luscious flora. It requires dedication and patience to keep it looking great all year round. But most importantly, you need the right tools to make sure that all your plants and trees stay healthy.
Take the pruning saw, for example. You need this reliable tool to cut through tough shrubs and thick branches. Pruning helps you get rid of dying branches to maintain the tree’s overall health while also keeping pests away. And that’s why owning a pruning saw is essential in every homeowner’s gardening toolkit.
But, know that there’s a proper way to use a pruning saw. Failure to do so will not only keep the tree from looking great, but it could also prevent it from staying at its best health.
If you’re curious about using this garden tool the right way, you came to the right place. Read on as we teach you how to use a tree pruning saw.
Before we proceed with the step-by-step guide, we want to discuss some safety reminders first.
Always keep in mind that tree pruning saws are extremely sharp. It can cut through the toughest of shrubs and the thickest of branches, so its sharpness is out of the question.
Thus, always handle it with care and make sure that you won’t hurt yourself or others.
With the safety reminder out of the way, let’s now prepare to teach you how to prune a tree.
Here are some notable pointers for you to remember.
- Always wear your safety gear when pruning. We recommend wearing work gloves, goggles, and a mask to prevent inhalation of sawdust and other debris. If you’re pruning a branch from overhead, also consider wearing a helmet for added protection.
- Check your saw if it’s still sharp. A dull saw will not be as effective, and it will lead to more harm than good. Thus, always check that first before proceeding to prune.
- Familiarize yourself with the tree and identify the areas that need pruning. This will save you a lot of time later on.
How to Use a Tree Pruning Saw
Now, let’s start pruning a tree.
Step 1: Position Yourself Comfortably
The first thing you have to do to start pruning is to position yourself carefully. As much as possible, you should stand close enough to the branch so you can exert the right amount of energy to cut it effectively.
When you’re standing too far away, you may not see what you’re cutting accurately. Plus, when your arms are stretched too far to cut a branch, you’re not in a comfortable condition to do so efficiently.
If you’re pruning a branch from a tall tree, make sure that the ladder you use stands on a solid foundation. This will prevent any accident from happening.
Step 2: Locate the Branch Collar
Now that you’re comfortably in place, the next step is to locate the branch collar.
The branch collar is the part of the tree where the branch connects with the trunk. In pruning, it’s essential to cut the branch before the collar. By doing so, you will facilitate the growth of a healthier branch while keeping pests and animal infestations away.
You can easily identify the branch collar because it’s directly connected to the trunk. It’s also often thicker than the rest of the branch – and that makes it hard to miss.
Step 3: Create a Groove
Once you have located the branch collar, take your tree pruning saw and create a groove just outside the collar.
To create this groove, simply place the saw on the spot outside the collar where you want to cut. With one or two cutting motions, create a groove to mark where you want to start cutting.
For a stable cutting, hold the branch with your free hand as you make the marking groove.
By creating this groove, you will get a great start at cutting down the whole branch. It will serve as a guide for the blades to stay in one direction, so you can get the job done neatly.
Step 4: Start Cutting at Consistent Pace
With the groove now in place, we can now proceed to cut to about 2/3 of the branch.
To do so, we simply push and pull the saw away from you. As you cut through the branch, we recommend cutting from the top of the branch going down. With this method, gravity will help you push the saw down to the branch.
Throughout the cutting process, make sure that your other hand remains on the branch. Aside from giving you your much-needed stability, it will also keep the saw from cutting away from the groove.
Also, make sure that you’re not too close to the saw. Always be at a comfortable distance to prevent any accident – especially if the saw accidentally ricochets when it hits a hard spot.
Step 5: Slow Down
As we have previously mentioned, you only cut the branch at a steady pace for about 2/3 of its diameter. Once you’re at the remaining 1/3, it’s best to start slowing down your cutting pace.
When you slow down, you prevent yourself from getting surprised by the branch immediately falling off. That will save you from an accident, especially with a sharp saw in one of your hands.
Another reason to slow down is that it will help create a nice and clean cut. You can also catch the branch safely with your other hand, so it won’t fall on someone else below.
Step 6: Finishing Cut
And finally, we can make finishing cuts to make facilitate the tree’s regrowth in that area.
After you’ve cut the branch off, you will notice that the cutting wound isn’t smooth at all. It will have blade marks and the bottom part will have a bunch of splinters protruding. You can easily smooth this area out by shaving it off with your saw until you’re satisfied with the results.
And that’s it – you now know how to use a tree pruning saw. You can now start pruning your trees and shrubs to make sure they’re always in their best shape.
Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it perfectly the first time. No one becomes a pruning professional overnight. Just keep on practicing – and one day you’ll realize how far you’ve improved from your first try.
If you’re in the market for a pruning saw, take a look at my best pruning saw reviews post.
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