Must-have garden tools to keep your trees in tip-top shape

November 30, 2014

Like all living things, trees and shrubs need regular care to stay healthy. Here’s a list of must-have garden tools to keep your trees in tip-top shape and growing for years to come.

Hand pruners

  • Versatile and lightweight, if you don't have hand pruners then get some. There are different sizes of hand pruners that vary in quality. You will need to choose the right one for the job. Hand pruners are used to cut small branches of less than two centimetres in diameter.

Lopping shears (long-handled shears)

  • When hand pruners can’t do the job, it’s time to break out the lopping shears. These larger, long-handled pruning shears can cut through branches two to five centimetres in diameter.

Pruning saw

  • The pruning saw is a handheld saw with a curved blade. It's suitable for cutting branches more than five centimetres in diameter. It is relatively inexpensive and very effective for light pruning work.

Pole pruners (pole saw)

  • You won’t need a ladder to cut out-of-reach branches with this tool. Originally used to remove caterpillars nests, pole pruners have long shears that can cut through four-centimetre branches—and easily reach heights of up to two and a half metres.

Pruning shears

  • Pruning shears are used to manually trim hedges, lawns and lawn edges. They're suitable to cut small branches, but the delicate blades won’t cut through hardwood.

Electric- or gas-powered hedge trimmers

  • Just like pruning shears, you use them for trimming hedges and shrubs. Power trimmers cost more than regular manual shears, but they save a lot of time and energy. What's more, they allow you to shape and manicure your hedges and shrubs. Though there are different sizes for different jobs, some power trimmers can reach and trim hedges of three metres or more in height.

Power pruners

  • This is basically a small chainsaw. If you have many trees to maintain, it may be to your serious advantage to pick one of these to prune your trees.


  • Large chainsaws are mainly for cutting down thick branches or entire trees. Generally, they're also used for cutting trees up into firewood. There are certain precautions involved in cutting down a tree when using a chainsaw. As such, it is better to refer to a professional who is experienced with this heavy and powerful tool.

Maintaining your tools

After you care for and groom your trees, you must maintain your tools to keep them useful year after year.

  • Dry your tools thoroughly before storing to prevent rust.
  • Lubricate moving parts with oil as per the owner's manual.
  • Disinfect your toolsif you handle a diseased tree
  • Make sure to get your tools sharpened annually
Must-have garden tools to keep your trees in tip-top shape
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