In praise of pole pruners, and no ladder climbing

Two millennia in the past, the Roman author Columella explained the vintoria falx, a 6-section, specialized pruning instrument for grapes. What a stir that instrument should have caused between Roman grape growers when it was first released!

A a lot more current innovation in pruning, in the last century or so, was the pole pruner, which is a pruning saw or rope-activated shear blade mounted at the conclusion of a pole. With it, you can function on branches even 15 feet substantial even though your ft are planted on terra firma.

Which is perfect for individuals like me who favor not to do the job from ladders.

My pole pruner is capped by equally a saw blade and a shear blade, which tends to make the pruner not really as nifty as Columella’s 6-aspect device, but handy nonetheless.

Driven PRUNERS MAKE THE Occupation Less complicated

The main dilemma with using a pole pruner is that it is complicated to maneuver a blade at the end of a lengthy pole. The trouble is compounded with much larger branches simply because they involve an first undercut to reduce tearing of the bark as they arrive down to make that undercut, you have to function the pole against gravity.

Enter the driven pole pruner, an innovation of the 21st century. This tool is, basically, a chainsaw on the close of a telescoping pole. In some versions, the motor or engine is mounted atop the pole, in the vicinity of the chain. In other people, the motor or motor is at the base of the pole, where by you are keeping the software, with the turning motion transferred up the pole to the chain at the finish.

Compromises are unavoidable when you mount a chainsaw on the close of a pole. A compromise concerning fat and power, for illustration.

A powered pole pruner might alleviate you of some exertion in cutting, but you’re likely to have to position and keep up that motorized saw perched at the far finish of a prolonged pole. If you make the saw lighter, that interprets into a lot less energy. The slicing bars on these saws are normally less than a foot extensive.

Electric motors are lighter than gasoline motors, so offer nonetheless a different alternative to the excess weight difficulty. Battery ability would seem to be best, apart from that battery power is minimal. A corded, electric pole pruner seems like a great compromise, then, as long as you are not much too much from a plug and have a fantastic extension wire.

TALL HEDGES Become More Manageable

One particular variation on the pole pruner is triggering a stir, in my backyard at least. That is the run pole hedge trimmer, an oscillating trimmer mounted on the conclude of a pole. They, much too, can be gasoline or electric driven.

Why put a hedge trimmer on the finish of a pole? For tall hedges, of system! A nice characteristic of most pole hedge trimmers is that the angle of the head can be diverse, a handy feature if you’re trimming the top of a high hedge to be flat.

Like stone or brick walls, significant hedges make bold and venerable styles that screen and enclose the landscape, and direct our eyes and toes by means of it. Considering the fact that I have obtained a pole hedge trimmer, I’ve been capable to sculpt my 9-foot-superior tea crabapple hedge into a environmentally friendly wall with a “doorway” carved into it — all with my toes fortunately planted on terra firma.


Lee Reich writes often about gardening for The Linked Push. He has authored a range of publications, including “Growing Figs in Cold Climates” and “The Pruning Ebook.” He weblogs at site. He can be arrived at at

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