A Pole Saw & Pruner Makes Tree Trimming Simpler

A combination pole saw and pruner is the perfect tool for trimming high tree branches without need for a ladder. There are many ways it can be put to use.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

When it comes to pruning trees and cutting down dead or low-hanging branches, I’ve always been fond of hand tools. Not that a chainsaw isn’t convenient for making quick work of large projects. But a hand saw and pruning loppers are my go-to tools for much of my tree-trimming work.

Now I’ve added another tool to my arsenal: a combination pole saw and pruner. I’m excited to give it a try and can think of many instances where I’ll put it to good use.

Read more: What kind of pruning loppers are right for you?

A Simple Tree Tool

A pole saw and pruner is exactly what its name implies. It’s a combination of a handsaw and pruning loppers mounted on the end of a pole for reaching high branches without need for a ladder. My pole saw and pruner measures about 5 feet long at its shortest. But it can be lengthened to 10 feet by loosening a locking mechanism and extending a telescoping inner pole from within the outer pole.

The saw portion of the tool is simple. It’s a curved blade that can be mounted in several positions at the end of the pole. Raising the pole up and down pulls the saw blade back and forth to cut through high branches.

The pruner portion is more elaborate and quite pleasing with its clever design. A rope with a wooden handle runs up to a series of pulleys and levers at the top, which work together to operate a bypass pruning blade.

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The pulleys and levers increase the strength of my pull on the rope. This makes it easier to cut through branches, and the stationary jaw of the loppers is designed to hook over the tops of branches. That way, when I pull on the rope, the loppers won’t slip off the branch.

Read more: Pruning fruit trees is a great task to resolve for this year.

Changing the Pruning Game

The pruner is going to come in handy when I prune my young fruit trees this winter. Some of them (particularly an Early Gold pear tree) have grown vigorously to impressive heights. I was going to need a ladder to prune the highest branches, but my pole saw and pruner changes the equation entirely.

By eliminating the need to haul around and constantly shift the position of a ladder, pruning my trees will be much faster, simpler and easier.

The saw is going to be similarly useful. There are many coniferous trees around my farm that grow long, sagging lower branches. The branches hang down low enough to interfere with walking and lawn mowing. But often these sagging branches attach to the trunk at a considerably higher point, out of reach from regular tools.

Cutting off the hanging ends of these branches looks messy. But it can be difficult to safely position a ladder to cut them off at the tree trunk. My pole saw should make quick work of these low-hanging branches, tidying up the appearance of the trees.

The list of possibilities goes on and on. A flowering crabapple tree near my house often tries to grow upper branches too close to the wall. No longer will I need a ladder to keep it under control. I want to gather scion wood from high in a few of my old apple trees.

The pruner will be perfect for this task.

Truthfully, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to add a pole saw and pruner to my selection of tools!

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