Trees require less maintenance on your property than other plants, but pruning is an important step to a healthy tree. Whether you have large oak trees or grow a small fruit orchard, finding the best tree pruner for your property is a great purchase.
Pruning a tree keeps the dead branches off and helps keep the overall shape and size of the tree to a manageable size. For larger trees, having a tree pruner can keep the branches away from your house or electrical lines. Branches can scratch or damage your siding, so it is best if you keep them away if possible.
The market is full of multiple options for tree pruners, so it can make the selection process a bit difficult. They depend on the level of work need to be done. You are going to want to weigh the cost, the style of operation, and the length to determine which tree pruner is going to work for you.
So, the first feature to look at is the length of the pruner. You need to be able to reach the tallest branch and leaves of the trees on your property. This may require you to measure the tree approximately. If you have some moderately sized trees, a pruner of 12 to 14 feet should reach a majority of the branches. There are smaller pruners, 6 to 10 feet, which are great for smaller trees, bushes and hedges.
Looking at the weight of the pruner is important. You should feel comfortable using and lifting up the pruner higher than you normally would for other objects. Gas powered pruners are the heavier option. The lightest pruners are manual pruners, followed by the corded electric models. If weight is a factor for you, make sure to check out the total poundage before purchase.
You will find some pruners advertised as telescoping pruners. These pruners can extend two or three times its normal size. This allows you to cut those branches at the tippy top without using an unsafe ladder. They generally can reach 16 to 18 feet. Pruners with a telescope handle are typically compact, so they are easy to store. Telescopic pruners are very versatile, so it may be a great option if you have different sized trees to prune.
There are three different ways tree pruners can be powered: manual, electric, or gas powered. Let’s take a look at the difference and features of each.
These look like big scissors and work best for smaller branches. These also are manual saw-like pruners, which are good for branches around 1 or 2 inches in diameter. While these can be a good, affordable option if you only have one tree, you will get tired easily using a manual pruner.
For electric pruners, they will either be corded or run with a battery. Corded is best for consistent power, but it is also limiting without very long extension cords. Most batteries can only last for 45 to 90 minutes before needing recharged. Despite some of the shortcomings, electric pruners have great power and can accomplish most jobs needed. When you look at electric trimmers, pay special attention to how many cuts it can make per charge. It will tell you how large the wood is, such as 100 cuts of branches 1-1/8 inch diameter.
These typically are for heavy jobs or commercial use. They are very powerful and consistent. If you have huge, multiple trees on your property, these could be the best option for you. Gas powered pruners are heavier than the other two options; they can weigh 3 to 6 pounds more. There is also the task of mixing oil and gas if you opt for a 2-cycle engine. Also, there are the fumes to consider with these pruners.
Make sure you set a budget ahead of time, so you know what is affordable. The cost of pruners typically depends on the way it is powered. Manual pruners run from $20 and up. These are the most budget friendly options. Electric pruners usually cost from $50 and up. Gas powered are the most expensive; they usually cost more than $150.
If you are sensitive to noises, this may be a factor to consider. Obviously, manual pruners are the quietest, but battery operated pruners can be just as quiet. You won’t need ear protection for corded electric. However, like most gas powered machinery, gas pruners are very loud and you will need ear protection while in use.
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.
Any product should have an ergonomic design. Since you’ll be using a tree pruner many times throughout the year, it needs to be designed in such a way that carrying it won’t immediately make you strained. A tree pruner should not make your hands and wrists stretched all the time just to accomplish its pruning operations. The last thing you want is a pruner that quickly causes fatigue.
While the product as a whole looks tough, you should pay extra attention to some parts such as the handle coverings, the bumpers, and the springs. The handle coverings should be reliable enough to hold on to while the spring should show no signs of breaking down. Likewise, durable bumpers are needed for a tree pruner to effectively absorb any impact.
More importantly, the tree pruner's blade should ideally be constructed out of high-carbon steel. Not only is this steel ridiculously tough but it also retains the sharpness of the blades.
A tree pruner can also have specialized functions to deal with any kind of tree. A model can have narrow blades to carefully pick off sections of a tree. In addition, a pruner can also have a grip made especially for removing the sharp or thorny areas.
A tree pruner needs to have a locking mechanism that’s easy to activate. In particular, the mechanism should be usable with just one hand.
You should buy a tree pruner that is easy to maintain. After all, even an expensive model would not be hard to buy if its maintenance costs are considerably low. Ideally, you should have the option to dismantle the blades of a tree pruner with ease. This allows you to safely clean and sharpen them to have more precise pruning operations.
With each use, the blades will slowly turn dull. To prevent this from happening immediately, you should look for sharpening equipment that can adequately handle the full length of the blades. If you don’t do this, pruning will take an unnecessarily long amount of time.
Apart from sharpening tools, you also have to look for dry clothes for removing debris away from the tree pruner. There are tree pruners recommended by the manufacturers to be regularly oiled, so pay close attention to those models. If you get one of them, do prepare mineral oil for lubricating the spring and steel wool for cleaning off any sap sticking on the blades.
Check out this video showing how to maintain the cutting head of a tree pruner:
Thankfully, there are tree pruner manufacturers readily provide replacement blades. Just seek help from the store owners to see which models have easily replaceable parts.
All in all, a fantastic tree pruner needs to excel in multi-functionality, durability, design, and in ease of maintenance.
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.
Black and Decker is a trustworthy brand of outdoor machinery.
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.
Green Works is a popular, outdoor machine company, known for powerful and durable tools. The G-Max is an electric tree pruner.
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 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.
This list has 3 electric tree pruners and 2 manual pruners. The best choice of the 5 reviewed is the Sun Jose 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.
We hope this review of the 5 best tree pruners for 2020 has been helpful for you. Did we miss your favorite tree pruner? Let us know in the comments!
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.
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