Pruning 101

I was asked today what was the scope of our business.

I said, “Well, we do tree removal, including technical removals – which basically means trees in tricky places that cannot be reached by bucket truck. We also do stump grinding (removal) and branch chipping. But our favorite thing is pruning. It is both and art and a science – how to make a tree look like a tree.”

Pruning is one of the ways that arborists and homeowners can manage the health, shape and safety of a tree over time. Just like you and I need to trim our toenails, and get a haircut – trees, hedges, and bushes need some maintenance too. Now there is not a tree spa, where you get drop off your trembling aspen or your boxelder (AKA Manitoba Maple) What you can do is tackle the tree on your own, or give us a call.

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If you decide to tackle it on your own, you need the right tools. You don’t need anything too crazy to get started. A good quality pair of hand pruners (or clippers), a hand saw, some loppers – and you are in business. Depending on your yard, you may want to add a pole saw and hedge trimmers. It is better to start with a few good tools, take care of them, learn about the trees you are caring for – than to run out and drop a bunch of $$$ on tools that will not make it out of the garage. See if you like pruning or if you would rather garden and leave the pruning to us. Please remember that all tree work requires PPE or personal protective equipment – which I will address shortly.

  • Hand pruners – The number one thing with hand pruners is user comfort.bypass-vs-anvil Find a pair that feel balanced in your hand, no spots to pinch delicate hand skin, and that inspire confidence. The two main kind of hand pruners are anvil shears and bypass pruners. Anvil shears work best for dead wooding – that is the removal of any dead branches, whereas bypass pruners work best on live branches.
  • Hand saw – We have bought hand saws that we adore at Princess Auto for ten bucks, and fancier saws that stayed in the pruning bucket because we didn’t like the weight or the balance or the scabbard – it just didn’t feel right. There are a few different styles, most common are the bow saw, the folding saw, and the trigger grip saw. Having said that, we have a bow saw – in fact, Chris made on out of hockey sticks once, but they are best used for larger limb removal. The bow gives you a good handle and leverage, but can be in the way when you are trying to make closer cuts. A folding saw may be the best bet for an occasional tree enthusiast.

 Even more than pruning, we love teaching homeowners and tree enthusiast how to care for their own trees. We have been teaching pruning workshops and would like to invite you to the DIY Homesteader Fest on June 6th, 2015 and to the Carberry Heritage Festival on August 7th and 8th, 2015.

Can’t make it out? We can give you hands-on instruction, in your own yard, on your own trees, as part of any booked pruning job.

Call to book a quote today with Reta (204)730-0368

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