Using a Tree Pruner Using a Tree Pruner

What You'll Need
Long-armed tree pruner
Pruning shears
Outdoor work gloves
Freestanding ladder
Goggles or other protective headwear

A tree pruner is a great tool to help you maintain the shape and beauty of trees in your yard or on your property. Pruners are generally used to remove excess branches, leaves and other parts of trees, and can be very helpful in preserving lines of visibility when trees begin to become overgrown. Using a tree pruner is generally straightforward and easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you complete your lawn maintenance work as safely as possible. Read on for a brief overview on how to use a tree pruner successfully.

Step 1 -- Analyze the Job and Divide the Work

There are two common types of tree pruning devices, and a complete job will likely require both. The first is the short distance pruning shear. These look like large scissors and are excellent for trimming branches and sections that are close by. The second is the longer pole tree pruner, which can be used to reach out-of-the-way parts of the tree that you wouldn't otherwise have access to. Before you begin, look at your trees and plan how you'd like for them to look. Consider which parts of the job will require the long-armed pruner and which can be accomplished with the shears.

Step 2 -- Prepare Yourself

Put on the protective gear before you begin. This includes work gloves and protective eye glasses or headwear. This will help to ensure that if any branches should happen to fall on or around you, you'll remain safe. It's also important to use your shears carefully, as they can cause extreme injury if you accidentally cut yourself with them.

Step 3 -- Cut Low Branches

Cut the low branches first. It's a good idea to use the pruning shears for this part of the job, as they are easier to control. Pick up the branches as you go along and store them in a wheelbarrow. When the wheelbarrow is full, collect them in a compost area or a pile for proper discarding later on.

Step 4 -- Cut Upper Branches

Use the long-arm pruning device to cut the upper branches of the trees. You may require the assistance of another person to help ensure that the branches are cut safely and properly. If you have larger branches to cut, make sure that you split them up further when they're off the tree so that they can be discarded more easily.

Step 5 -- Use the Ladder

If necessary, set up your freestanding ladder to give you additional height and access to higher branches. Keep in mind, however, that your safety is the most important thing to maintain; do not reach too far away from the ladder. Have a spotter hold the ladder in place to ensure that you don't fall or tip the ladder as you work.

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