Excerpt from the Popular Garden Series magabook Orcharding with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Orcharding here (deep link http://www.shopanimalnetwork.com/product.aspx?cid=85&pid=838)
The following tools come in handy for tending fruit trees. Try to clean and dry pruning tools after each use, then wipe the pruning tools with an oily rag to prevent rust. Be sure to keep cutting surfaces sharp – a small, pocket-sized sharpening stone will do the trick.
- Pruning shears or pruners: The gardener’s faithful assistant, short-handled pruners fit neatly in the palm of your hand and cut woody stems up to 1/2-inch think.
- Loppers: Use these long-handled shears for tackling thick, woody stems up to one inch in diameter.
- Pruning knife: This curved knife can be used for trimming rough-cut edges.
- Pruning saw: This slender, curved saw is employed to cut thicker wood.
- Tree pruner: A very long-handled pruner for hard-to-reach branches.
- Backpack sprayer: Whether you garden organically or conventionally, chances are good you’ll have to spray your tree with something to prevent diseases and pests.
- Rototiller: Good for preparing planting sites.
- Weed cloth or mulch: Not exactly tools, but important for keeping weeds and grass from growing around trees in organic yards.
- Ladder: For those hard-to-reach places