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To trim a tree, you’ll just need some elbow-grease (if you’re using a manual pole saw) or some patience and strength (if you’re using an electric).
There are some preparations and techniques you’ll want to keep in mind. So, to get started here is your quick-step guide to trimming a tree with a pole saw.
How Do You Trim a Tree With a Pole Saw?
First, we need to prepare the area:
- Remove all debris and obstacles around the tree.
- Clear the area of people, children and pets. A falling branch can do some serious damage.
- Select the branches you will be pruning.
- If there is a powerline close to or under the branch, don’t cut it. Rather call in a professional.
- Figure out where you’ll be standing, then decide where you can safely retreat should something go wrong.
- Grab your gear! Protective glasses, gloves and a helmet are standard equipment when pruning a tree.
- Make sure your pole saw is sharp, if you’re using an electric one, use a chainsaw sharpener. This will make everything easier and give you a cleaner cut.
Sawing off the branch
- Get the pole saw into position
Stand underneath the tree then lift your pole saw up and over the branch. Rest it comfortably on the spot where you want to start cutting. Try and place it on a horizontal part of the branch at first, if at all possible. This will give you more stability.
- Get yourself into position
After you’ve secured the pole saw, move back and then hold the pole at an angle. This will ensure the blade will press fully into the branch. If the branch is too high to reach, check out our: How do you cut a tree limb that is too high?
- Make the first cut
With slow measured strokes, saw slowly and make a nice indentation for the blade. Once it’s deep enough, you can start moving faster. If the blade slips (which is possible if you’re sawing at an incline) pause, move the blade back into position and start again slowly.
A few tips
- Don’t cut through the collar of the branch. That ring is filled with cells that will help the tree heal faster.
- Don’t allow branches to pile up around the tree. After you’ve cut off a section, take a moment and clean up. That way when you move on to the next branch, you won’t have a possible tripping hazard if you need to move quickly out of the way.
- Don’t cut vertically down, rather cut at an angle, it is healthier for the tree
Using an electrical pole saw
Go through all of the above steps, but just keep it steady when you turn it on. It will cut much faster than the manual, so be a little more careful when you start as things can go wrong much faster. Also, make sure you have a firm grip, and don’t let the blade hit anything when it slices through.
If the branch is quite thick and will be difficult to cut through, head on over to How thick of a branch can a pole saw cut? to see what you need to do to cut off a thicker branch.
To know more about using pole saw click here
When is the best time to trim trees?
This depends on the type of tree you’re pruning! Flowering trees and evergreens or deciduous trees have drastically different times they need to be trimmed.
1) Evergreens and deciduous trees
These trees are best trimmed between early winter and early spring as it encourages new wonderful growth spurts in the upcoming warmer seasons.
The colder climate also makes it less likely that the tree will pick up diseases. Also, trimming a tree when the ground is hard and the branches empty of leaves, makes the job just that much easier.
However, in certain climates, it’s best to wait for early spring, as the weather can be quite hazardous.
Trimming in fall is also a good option, but try to keep the weather in mind. A warm fall might create problems. If it bleeds sap in a warm fall, the tree might end up picking up a disease. But one can use fall as a prep season by spotting the branches you need to trim early-on.
So, as a rule, use fall to prep and winter to early spring to cut.
2) Flowering trees
There are two types of flowering trees, early blooming and late blooming.
- Early blooming trees (early spring) are best trimmed right after they’ve bloomed, as they use the previous years’ buds to blossom. By cutting the branches off after the tree has bloomed you will ensure it will still bloom the following year as new buds are now forming.
- Late-blooming trees (late spring to early summer) can be cut right at the start of spring and they will still have a wonderful bloom.
Is there a bad time to trim trees?
Yes and no. It really has to do with the situation. In general, most will agree, if the reason is right there isn’t a fundamentally ‘bad; time to cut a branch, rather there is a ‘better’ time to do so.
Most gardeners will insist on trimming a tree in the colder months – as there is a smaller chance of a tree picking up a disease. Summer is considered a bad month as wounds don’t close up quickly and, of course, there are lots of diseases. But if a branch is a danger, or if the tree has to be trimmed for another serious reason, then any time is a good time.
Thinking of trimming your tree with a pole saw? We’ve given you the ins and outs of this process so you can best reach your end goal. Of course, we’ve also added a few tips and tricks, because life is always easier if you have a bit of inside info.