What type of equipment do I need to prune trees and shrubs?

Question: 

What type of equipment do I need to prune trees and shrubs?

Answer: 

Proper pruning tools for a home gardener include hand shears, lopping shears, and a pruning saw. 

Hand or pruning shears are generally used for cutting stems (branches) up to 3/4 inch in diameter.  There are 2 basic types of hand shears.  Scissor-type shears have curved blades that overlap (scissor action) when making the cut.  Anvil-type shears have a sharp top blade that cuts against a flat surface (anvil).  Scissor-type shears are generally preferred as they can make closer cuts and are less likely to crush stems. 

Branches from 3/4 to 1½ inches in diameter can be effectively cut with lopping shears.  Lopping shears consist of two blades attached to long handles.  The long handles give the gardener greater leverage so cuts can be made through larger branches.  Lopping shears are also excellent for pruning difficult to reach places. 

Use a pruning saw on branches larger than 1½ inches in diameter.  Various types of pruning saws are available.  A pole saw can be used to prune hard-to-reach branches in trees. 

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