Gardening: In praise of pole pruners, and no ladder climbing | Lifestyles

Two millennia ago, the Roman writer Columella explained the vintoria falx, a 6-section, specialised pruning device for grapes. What a stir that tool should have induced amongst Roman grape growers when it was first introduced!

A additional latest innovation in pruning, in the previous century or so, was the pole pruner, which is a pruning observed or rope-activated shear blade mounted at the stop of a pole. With it, you can do the job on branches even 15 ft significant even though your ft are planted on terra firma.

That’s ideal for individuals like me who like not to operate from ladders.

My pole pruner is capped by both of those a observed blade and a shear blade, which makes the pruner not fairly as nifty as Columella’s 6-portion instrument, but practical nonetheless.


MAKE THE Occupation Simpler

The principal dilemma with using a pole pruner is that it’s difficult to maneuver a blade at the end of a prolonged pole. The challenge is compounded with larger branches since they demand an first undercut to avoid tearing of the bark as they arrive down to make that undercut, you have to perform the pole in opposition to gravity.

Enter the driven pole pruner, an innovation of the 21st century. This device is, in essence, a chainsaw on the finish of a telescoping pole. In some types, the motor or engine is mounted atop the pole, near the chain. In others, the motor or engine is at the foundation of the pole, where by you’re holding the software, with the turning movement transferred up the pole to the chain at the conclusion.

Compromises are unavoidable when you mount a chainsaw on the conclusion of a pole. A compromise amongst pounds and electrical power, for example.

A run pole pruner might reduce you of some effort in reducing, but you are going to have to situation and keep up that motorized observed perched at the significantly finish of a lengthy pole. If you make the saw lighter, that interprets into a lot less energy. The reducing bars on these saws are generally considerably less than a foot extensive.

Electrical motors are lighter than gasoline motors, so offer however a further remedy to the pounds challenge. Battery electricity would appear perfect, except that battery ability is minimal. A corded, electric powered pole pruner looks like a superior compromise, then, as very long as you’re not too much from a plug and have a excellent extension twine.


Turn out to be More Workable

1 variation on the pole pruner is leading to a stir, in my backyard at minimum. That is the run pole hedge trimmer, an oscillating trimmer mounted on the close of a pole. They, much too, can be gasoline or electric powered powered.

Why put a hedge trimmer on the close of a pole? For tall hedges, of study course! A pleasant feature of most pole hedge trimmers is that the angle of the head can be assorted, a beneficial characteristic if you’re trimming the major of a significant hedge to be flat.

Like stone or brick partitions, big hedges develop bold and venerable shapes that display and enclose the landscape, and immediate our eyes and ft through it. Considering that I have obtained a pole hedge trimmer, I’ve been able to sculpt my 9-foot-high tea crabapple hedge into a inexperienced wall with a “doorway” carved into it — all with my feet fortunately planted on terra firma.


Lee Reich writes regularly about gardening for The Affiliated Push. He has authored a quantity of guides, together with “Growing Figs in Cold Climates” and “The Pruning E-book.” He blogs at He can be arrived at at backyard

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