If you want to cut branches high off the ground, you have three main options. One: get up in the tree or on a ladder with a chainsaw or hand pruners. Two: use a pole saw or pole pruners. Three: hire a professional to get in the tree for you

The first option is dangerous if you're not trained for handling in-tree cutting equipment. Pole pruners and saws offer a safer option for homeowners than trying to operate a chainsaw in-tree or while standing on a ladder. But there are still safety concerns. For those who want to tackle cutting high-up limbs themselves rather than hiring a professional, here are a few things you should know about using a pole pruner or saw.

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Which Branches To Cut

Pole saws and pruners work best on limbs that are growing horizontal. Branches growing vertically are harder to get a good angle on with long-handled cutting tools. If you're trying to cut a branch growing straight up and down with a pole pruner, it's going to be hard to get a clean cut. It's best to hire a professional for cuts like that.

Also, be sure that you're staying well clear of power lines and any electrical equipment while you're cutting. If a branch near power lines needs to be removed you should hire a professional arborist.

Where To Stand

The place you choose to stand should let you keep the pole pruner at an angle smaller than 60 degrees from horizontal. If you would have to stand underneath the branch to make the cut, then this isn't a branch you should be using pole pruners on.

Before cutting, it's a good idea to put up some kind of barrier or outline that lets other people know they shouldn't come too close. Make sure that no one else is standing where the branch could fall.

How To Cut

To reduce the dangers of falling debris, you'll need to cut the branch in stages. Use several preliminary cuts to remove outer pieces of the branch and reduce its weight. Once you have the branch down to size, make a jump cut by sawing up from the bottom of the branch about a quarter of the way through. Then make your final cut from the top of the branch. This will help you control how the branch falls.

What Type of Pole Cutter

You can use "pole pruner" and "pole saw" interchangeably. These terms refer to non-powered equipment, such as Corona's tree saws, or powered equipment, such as Stihl and Echo's pole pruners. Hand-operated pruners require more effort to use, but they're typically lighter weight than the powered pole saws. The powered saws have a definite advantage in speed and cutting power, though. We carry both styles at Richardson Saw & Lawnmower, so you can come in and see which you like best.