Here’s our ultimate guide, where we review the 5 best tree pruners of 2022 to help you find the right tool for the job!
Pruning your mature trees and shrubs is essential maintenance that keeps them healthy and looking great, as well as preventing them from encroaching on roofs, walls, electrical lines, fences and neighboring plants.
We also have plenty of tips on how to choose a good tree pruner, advice on pole saws and gas pole saws, and how to use a tree pruner safely and effectively.
Features to Look for in a Tree Pruner
1. Length Needed For Your Tree Pruner
You need a tree pruner that is able to reach most if not all of your tree’s branches. For moderately-sized trees, a fully-extended length of 12-14 feet is recommended.
For smaller trees, hedges and shrubs, it’s recommended that you get a tree pruner that extends 6-10 feet.
2. Tree Pruner's Weight
It’s always a good idea to try out your tree pruner in person before you buy in order to check the weight.
You want to feel comfortable and in control while maneuvering it above you.
Manual pruners are usually the lightest option, with electric pruners being a bit heavier and gas-powered pruners being the heaviest.
If weight is an important factor for you, be sure to check out the total poundage before you buy.
3. Telescope Style Pruners
Many pruners are advertised as telescoping tree pruners. This means they can extend 2-3 times their length, just like a telescope.
They are lightweight and any can reach 16-18 feet in length. This allows you to trim branches right at the top of your tree without having to use a ladder.
Because of the way they extend and retract, telescopic pruners are very versatile and easy to store, and are a great option if you have lots of trees and shrubs of different sizes.
Different Types of Tree Pruner
There are three main types of tree pruner, defined by how they are powered – manual, electric and gas. Let’s take a look at the differences and features of each different type.
1. Manual Tree Pruners
These resemble big scissors and work best for smaller branches. You can also get a saw-like option which works well for removing branches that are 1-2 inches in diameter.
While they’re a good option if you only have a couple of trees, you’ll soon get tired out using a manual tree pruner!
2. Electric Tree Pruners
Electric tree pruners can run off a cord that you plug in to your mains or can be battery-operated.
Corded electric pruners offer the most consistent power, run quietly and don’t need to be charged, which makes them very easy to use.
However, their reach is only as long at their cord, although you can extend that with an extension cord.
This is a much more mobile option, but the battery does require charging which can limit the amount of work you can do.
When looking at these models, check how many cuts it can make per charge to give you an idea of how much work you can do on one charge.
It should tell you the size of the branches it can work on too, for example, 100 cuts for branches with a 1-1/8 inch diameter.
3. Gas Powered Tree Pruners
Gas pole saws are the most powerful pruners and are often used by commercial tree trimmers and for heavy-duty work.
They are best-suited to yards with multiple, huge trees. However, gas pole saws do emit fumes, are noisy and are very heavy to use, weighing 3-6 lbs and more.
You also have to know how to create the right fuel mix for the 2-stroke engine.
Make sure you set a budget well in advance, so you know what brand or machine is the most affordable option.
The biggest influence on cost is how the tree pruner is powered. Manual tree pruners are the cheapest at around $20.
Electric pruners usually cost $50 and upwards. Gas pole saws are usually the most expensive, often costing more than $150.
If you are sensitive to noise, you will want to factor this into your selection.
Obviously, manual pruners are the quietest as they don’t have any engine, but many battery-powered and corded electric models are just as quiet.
Gas pole saws are very loud and can be disruptive in your neighborhood, so it’s important to use ear protection to protect your hearing.
Tips on Buying a Tree Pruner
Not all tree pruners are made the same. While they all have the same function of keeping trees from growing out of control, pruners are not made in the same way.
Thus, it is important to learn some tips on buying a tree pruner.
1. Check the Design
Your tree pruner should have an ergonomic design to help prevent any strain on your back, neck and arms while carrying or using it.
A tree pruner should not strain your hands and wrists, and should feel easy to use so you don’t get fatigued quickly.
2. Inspect the Durability of the Pole Saws Parts
Good quality tree pruners are made to last and shouldn’t break after one season. Important features to check include:
- The handle coverings should look solid and give good grip while the bumpers should be able to absorb impacts well.
- The blade should be good quality and durable. Look for high-carbon steel blades, as these are very strong and stay sharp for a long time.
- The head should be drop-cast or die-forged metal for strength.
3. Determine the Functions
Choose a tool that offers additional functionality that would be useful in your yard.
For example, some models come with narrow blades for more refined tree trimming, or a specialized grip to manage the removal of sharp or thorny branches.
4. Is the Pole Saw Easy to Use
A tree pruner should be easy to use, with a locking mechanism that’s easy to activate and usable with just one hand.
5. Take Maintenance into Consideration
The quality of the product and the way it is powered will impact on the time and money you’ll spend on maintenance.
Sometimes it is better to go for a more expensive tree pruner that is low maintenance!
Low maintenance pruners offer:
- Removable blades – For easy cleaning and sharpening.
- Sharpening equipment – To make it easy to sharpen dull blades.
- Replacement blades and parts – These tools work hard so you can expect parts to need replacing eventually.
It’s good to choose a brand that offers affordable replacement blades and parts that you can order easily.
In addition, you will need some steel wool for cleaning off any sap sticking to the blades before you can store your pruner.
Check out this video showing how to maintain the cutting head of a tree pruner:
All in all, a fantastic tree pruner needs to excel in multi-functionality, durability, design and ease of maintenance.
How to Use a Tree Pruner
Here are some great tips and techniques to help you prune your trees safely and effectively.
- Choose a day with good weather, where it is not windy or raining.
- Use a secure, two-handed grip, and avoid standing on anything in order to reach higher, including ladders.
- Watch out for obstacles around you that can trip you or are dangerous, like tree stumps, branches, holes and power lines.
- When cutting a branch, stand off to one side rather than directly below it.
This prevents sawdust, sticks and branches from falling onto you or into your eyes.
- Don’t cut anything too large for your pruner. Stick to the manufacturer guidelines or you could find your pruner lodged in a branch where it can break off or harm living wood.
- Mimic the same technique as for hand pruning if you have a manual pruner and don’t spend too much time trying to hit the branch node exactly.
Loop the rope once around your hand and close your fist over it so you have good grip.
Get the branch into the crook of the pruner and pull to make a clean cut.
- Try to make a clean, 45 degree cut each time. This not only looks better; it prevents excessive damage that can stunt future growth or put your tree at risk of disease.
With a gas or electric pruner, the best technique is to cut at a 45 degree angle, going slow and steady and being ready to cut the power as you complete the cut.
- Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from falling dust, debris and branches.
- Wear a helmet to protect your head from falling branches.
- Wear thick, non-slip gloves.
- Use hearing protection if using a gas pole saw.
- Wear long pants and long sleeves to protect your arms and legs.
- Wear sturdy, closed toes shoes with good grip.
Top 5 Best Tree Pruners on the 2022 Market
Sun Joe tackles those high jobs easily. The SWJ800E is a telescoping tree pruning saw, capable of reaching from 8.7 feet up to 15 feet overhead.
This would be a great saw for those moderately sized trees on your property.
- This Sun Joe model is a corded, electric tree pruner, powered by a 6.5 AMP motor.
One of the great things about a corded electric pruner is it never runs out of steam.
So long as it is plugged in with extension cords, you can continue to work at the same amount of power you began with.
- With its saw featuring an 8 inch Oregon bar, you can cut through branches up to 7.5 inches thick.
There won’t be many branches that can stop this pruner.
- It includes an auto-oiler so everything starts nicely lubricated without you having to do it yourself.
- The Sun Jose pruner has the power of a gas powered tool, without the difficult startup and fumes.
Starting a gas powered engine can be frustrated and take quite a while. This pruner starts up with the push of a single button.
There is a safety switch so you don’t accidentally start the pruner.
- Sun Joe focuses on high quality, outdoor tools. This would make a great tree pruner without breaking the bank.
Fiskars makes a trustworthy and quality brand of tree pruners. They have quite a variety. This is a great choice if you have very tall trees you need to prune. It uses leverage to help you reach even higher than most tree pruners.
- This Fiskars extends up to 14 feet and is lightweight, at only 6lbs!
When it is not extended, this Fiskars pruner is 7’2” without being extended to the full height.
- The pruning blade is made from steel coated to be rust resistant. The coating also helps to reduce friction and make cutting easier.
- With this blade, you can cut through branches up to 1-1/8 inches in diameter easily.
- This tree pruner also comes with a 15 inch saw blade so you can cut through thicker branches.
Sawing through a 3-4 inch diameter branch will be no problem.
- The cost is a bit more than the typical manual tree pruner, but it is great quality.
You will be amazed at how easily your pruning job will become using this tool.
Black and Decker is a trustworthy brand of outdoor machinery.
- This particular cordless tree pruning saw uses a 20-volt lithium system.
You won’t need a cord nor gas, and it is strong enough to handle all of those difficult trimming jobs.
- You can extend the shaft from 6.5 feet up to 10 feet. So, you could easily reach branches 14 feet above the ground.
- Cordless electric pruners are generally lightweight, and this one is no exception.
It only weighs 6.3 pounds, making it easy to carry around for an extend job period.
- The saw is 8 inches and is capable of cutting branches up to 6 inches in diameter.
- With each charge, you can cut through 100 branches of 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
Chances are, you won’t need more than that in a typical day!
- One of the best features of this tree pruner is it is compact.
You can disassemble it for easy storage in your shed. It has a blade cover for safe storage.
- Black and Decker offers a great, 2 year warranty. You will love this tree pruner with a saw blade.
It is strong enough for most of your jobs.
Green Works is a popular, outdoor machine company, known for powerful and durable tools. The G-Max is an electric tree pruner.
- It is powered by a 40 volt, 2.0 AMP battery. It takes an hour to charge the 2 AMP battery, or 2 hours if you upgrade to the 4 AMP battery.
With a single charge, you can make up to 50 cuts, based on a 4x4 wood.
- It comes with a durable, 8 inch bar and chain saw for easy and strong trimming.
- You can reach up to 8 feet with this trimmer. It would be best for small and moderately sized trees.
- The G-Max has an automatic oiler to help lubricate the bar and chain for easy and smooth cutting.
- The weight of this electric pruner is a bit more than the typical; it weighs 8.4lbs, but closer to 15lbs with the battery.
Green Works made a solid and durable machine. The bar and chain of the saw is made from strong steel.
The pole is sturdy and easy to use. You will love the speed and efficiency with which this pruner cuts.
Although the weight of the machine is a bit more, this means you need to apply very little pressure in order to make the cuts.
The Green Works G-Max is a bit pricy for an electric pruner. However, it is very strong and well crafted. It will last you for years to come.
This extendable tree pruner from Fiskars makes reaching up easier than ever before.
- The pole is very lightweight, at only 4.3lbs.
- It extends up to 12 feet and locks securely so it won’t slide back during a job.
- There are no ropes needed with this tee pruner, so you use both hands to help increase the power of this manual pruner. The sliding handle makes pruning easier.
- The maximum cutting width is 1-1/4 inch diameter branches.
- For the thicker branches, this Friskar comes with a 15 inch saw blade. It rotates 230 degrees, so you can reach nearly any branch.
- This pruner is considered a telescoping pruner so you can reach even higher than before.
The Stik pruner cuts like butter. The blade is coated to help prevent rust, and this coating makes the blade cut even easier.
This Fiskars tree pruner is well designed, and that is one of the reasons why it is so highly rated.
Users will find that they have no trouble completing their job.
There are so many great tree pruners available on the market today.
There are no gas tree pruners listed in this review because they are generally reserved for commercial use.
Your local hardware store would have some available.
My Best Tree Pruner for 2022 Top Pick
This list has 3 electric tree pruners and 2 manual pruners.
The best choice of the 5 reviewed is the Sun Joe Telescoping Chain Saw Pruner.
We selected this as the best for a few reasons. It reaches 15 feet, which is a great height for most homeowners or small orchard owners.
It has a 6.5 AMP battery, which has sufficient power to prune most branches you will need to cut.
It is corded. This may seem like a disadvantage, but as long as you have a few extension cords, it shouldn’t pose a problem.
Corded electric pruners are consistent and there is no time limit. You can take two or three hours without running out of a charge.
For bigger cutting jobs, don't miss our review on the best chainsaws on the market. We hope this review of the 5 best tree pruners for 2022 has been helpful! Did we miss your favorite tree pruner? Let us know in the comments!