How Do You Cut off a Tree Limb That Is Too High?

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There are numerous ways to cut off those too-high-branches. They can range from pole saws to pocket chainsaws, and depending on the branch, it’s usually quite easy to remove it.

Before doing anything: assess

Before rushing out to buy any sort of equipment, first assess the situation and figure out what method will work best. Ask yourself the following questions;

  • How high is it?
  • How thick is it?
  • Is it possible to climb the tree?
  • Is the branch hard to get to?
  • Will it hit anything if it falls? And if so, can I make sure it doesn’t?

Guide for Cutting a Tree LimbCutting a tree limb

Winter is the best time to prune a tree. In the summer a tree is far more likely to pick up diseases and infestations. If possible, rather keep till winter and then cut off the limb.

Also, make sure you have all your safety equipment ready. This includes:

  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Some good non-slip shoes.

When you’ve assessed how high and thick it is, you can now move on to one of the following options.

1) Use a pole saw (reach up to 20 feet)Use a pole saw

A pole saw is exactly what it says. A pole with a saw attached to it.

If the branch is no thicker than about 12 inches and no higher than 20 feet up, a pole saw can work very well. You get them in manual, electric, gas and battery varieties. Which one to buy depends on your needs, your physical ability and, of course, your budget. But the pole saw is the go-to option to cut down unwanted branches.

You can also use a pole saw in conjunction with a ladder. Just make sure the l[1] adder is sturdy. You can tie it to the tree, or ask a friend to keep it still.

Be aware though, the thicker/higher the branch, the better it is to buy a good pole saw, and the more likely it will be for you to get a manual one. Electric varieties are rarely above 15 feet long.

2) Use a pocket chainsaw (reach over 30 feet)Use a pocket chainsaw

Sometimes our pole saws are just too short or clumsy to get the job done, and we don’t always have the resources or contacts to remove too-high-to-reach branches.

A pocket chainsaw is a small chain that can be carried, you guessed it, in your pocket. With a bit of ingenuity and some rope, it can be used to get at almost any branch, but can specifically be used to go higher than a pole saw. It is budget-friendly but requires a bit of elbow grease to get the job done.

Step one: Get the tools

First off, you’ll need the following items to get started:

  • A pocket chain saw
  • At least 100 feet of a rope
  • A weight of around 1.5 pounds

Step two: Set up

Now that you’re ready to saw, we can make our make-shift rope-saw”

  • Tie the 1.5-pound weight to one end of your rope.
  • Toss weight over limb, ensuring it pulls the rope over
  • Cut the rope at the bottom, while ensuring it doesn’t slide over the tree and over the other side
  • Tie your pocket chainsaw to both open ends of the freshly cut rope.
  • Pull on the rope until pocket chainsaw is on the limb, and its teeth facing down

Step three: saw

Now that you have it in position you can just pull on the ends of the rope and saw the limb down! Be sure not to put too much pressure on the rope, and let the teeth work the wood for you.

Other things to consider

  • Be mindful of where you’re standing, a falling branch can do some serious damage.
  • If the branch is particularly thick, too thick for your pocket chainsaw, try one of the other options.

3) Rent a bucket lift (reach 40 – 125 feet)

Bucket lifts can often be rented at the nearby arborist. The machine can usually reach up to around 40 feet, some can go up to 125.  As long as the terrain is quite even around your home, and you can drive it around, it is a viable option to prune your 40-foot pine tree.

4) Call an arborist (not your problem)

Sometimes it’s just not worth risking your neck for a tree limb, and there are people out there who have been trained and get paid to cut them off. Just phone up the local arborist and ask them to come and help out. Then all you have to worry about is a bill.

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