How to Use a Pole Pruner


Hard-to-reach branches are easy to prune with a pole pruner, which comes with an extendable pole that allows you to reach high branches without a ladder. Many pole pruners come with specialty blades for dead or dry branches. Using a pole pruner will protect you from scratches and scrapes from thorns or twigs. Pole pruners are usually made of lightweight material for easy maneuverability and may extend up to 12 feet. Pole pruners are available at most garden shops, including those at major retailers, as well as on-line.

Getting Ready

Step 1

Determine how much you must extend the pole to reach the branch or branches you want to cut.

Step 2

Extend the middle section of the pole by squeezing the hand lever. On most pole pruners, this will release the middle section of pole, but the lever must be open as you move the pole to the desired length. For particularly high branches, fully extend the middle section and lock it in place.

Step 3

Squeeze the hand lever again to release the end pole. There are usually three sections to the pole--the one with the lever, the middle and the end. With the lever open, you can extend the third pole to the desired length, then lock it in place.


Step 1

Hold the pole pruner up and at an angle to your body when trimming. Select the branch you wish to prune and fit the branch into the jaws of the pruner.

Step 2

Squeeze the lever to make the cut. You must squeeze the lever completely shut to complete the cut, then step backward as the branch begins to fall. If using a pruning saw, begin the back and forth sawing motion.

Step 3

Make multiple cuts on particularly thick or difficult branches to weaken the branch. By doing this, you will sufficiently weaken the branch and it should eventually splinter and fall. If using a pole pruner with a saw head, you will want to make strategically placed cuts that will cause the branch to snap.

Tips and Warnings

  • Large branches might be heavier than they look, so be sure to move out of the branch's path when it comes down. Some pole pruners come with multiple blades. Select the proper blade for your project.

Things You'll Need

  • Pole pruner
  • Work gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Long pants


  • Pruning Reference
  • Using a Pole Pruner

Who Can Help

  • Stihl Retail Site and Pole Pruning Instruction
  • Order a Pole Pruner from Aubuchon Hardware
  • Pole Pruning Video
Keywords: pole pruner, using a pole pruner, trimming trees

About this Author

J.D. Chi is a professional journalist who has covered sports for more than 20 years at newspapers all over the United States. She has covered major golf tournaments and the NFL as well as travel and health topics. Chi received her Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is working toward a master's degree in journalism.