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How to Properly Use a Pole Pruner

By Ma Wen Jie ; Updated September 21, 2017

Pole pruners--a saw on a long handle--are used to cut branches that are too high in a tree to be pruned without a ladder or extension. Pole pruners are often used in situations where a ladder is dangerous, impractical or inconvenient. Although some have a lower jaw to lock the blade to the tree as you saw, in their most basic form most are simply a saw blade on a handle.

Extend your pole pruner to the approximate height of the branch to be pruned. Many pole pruners have telescoping aluminum shafts that are tightened via a twist mechanism of a lever that flips up and down. Be sure the sections are secured before raising the pruner.

Check the height of the pruner by laying the blade on the branch to be pruned. By not over- or under-extending your pole pruner, you are able to apply more pressure to the cutting mechanism.

Place your pruner's saw on the branch as close to the branch collar as possible. Try to angle the pruner so the cut is at a similar angle to the branch collar.

Use the handle on the pruner to saw through the branch. Make sure that your pole pruner blade is wide enough for the thickness of the branch you are cutting. The blade should be at least twice the thickness of the branch, but three times the thickness may make cutting easier.


Things You Will Need

  • Pole pruner


  • If you can, verify that your pruner is suitable for the thickness of branch you are cutting before beginning the cut.
  • Watch carefully as the branch falls to avoid being hit.
  • Prune trees at the appropriate time. Many trees, like maples and fruit trees, are best pruned in the winter. Other trees can be pruned after their main growing season.


  • Do not use pole pruners near power lines. This is especially true for aluminum or metal handled pruners.

About the Author


Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.