Growing trees in your landscape provides a natural beauty to the surroundings. Trees can create shade and lower energy costs, produce breathtaking blossoms and foliage or generate tasty nuts and fruits. Basic tree care involves trimming trees when needed to maintain overall health or to control and shape a tree as desired. Pruning trees calls for the proper tree-cutting tools, depending on the size of the cut.
Hand tools, or hand pruners, are used to cut any of the tree's branches with a diameter up to ¾ inch. This type of a tree-pruning tool requires only one hand to operate. Choose from either scissor- or anvil- type pruning shears for making cuts on small tree branches. Scissor-type, or bypass, pruning shears include two sharp blades passing closely together and typically cost more but create cleaner cuts. Anvil-type hand pruners include one sharp blade that cuts against a flat area, or anvil.
Lopping Tool and Pruning Saw
Lopping tools or lopping shears can cut tree branches up to 1½ inches or more. This type of pruning tool provides more leverage, allowing it to make bigger cuts. It requires two hands to operate it. Lopping shears work as a scissor-type tool with two sharp blades crossing each other.
Pruning saws cut tree branches up to 6 inches in diameter. These types of tree-cutting tools include folding saw or bow saw, which both cut quicker and better than a carpenter saw, according to the Texas AM University.
Pole Saws and Chainsaws
Extreme caution and proper safety equipment is required for tree cutting using either pole- or chainsaws. Professional tree trimmers best use these types of pruning tools. You should never use either when standing on a ladder.
Pole saws or pole pruners resemble big lopping shears and saw on the end of a large pole, which is controlled with a long rope. This type of tree-cutting tool is used for cuts out of reach on branches further up the tree. Pole saws made from wood are well built but weigh a lot; aluminum poles weigh less but can conduct electrical currents from wires. The best types of pole saws are made from plastic or fiberglass materials.
Chainsaws are gas- or electric-powered cutters and are used to prune large tree branches over 3 inches in diameter. Chainsaws create jagged cuts and inexperienced tree trimmers should not operate them. It is better to use pruning saws instead of pole or chainsaws, according to the University of Nebraska.