Pruning is essential to good plant health. Hand held pruners and extension loppers are valuable hand tools to have around.
Pruners and loppers come in 3 styles:
Anvil Cutters have a straight edge blade and cut against a smooth surface. These types of clippers are great for dry wood and dead branches. They are great starter cutters. Finish with a bypass style.
Bypass cutters have curved blades. They “pass” each other as they cut. Their movement is the same as a scissors. They work better on green wood.
Ratchet cutters have an adjustable setting that spaces the blades while adding leverage. These are good for people who have difficulty gripping.
Use a pruners for close up cuts whenever possible. Loppers work well for hard to reach places. The long handles offer leverage.
Keep your pruners and loppers clean and sharp. A quick scrub with soapy water and a steel wool pad works wonders. Sharpen these tools on the beveled side with a stone or sharpening tool then sparingly run the tool over the flat side just to remove any burrs. Oil regularly with a drop or two of oil between the blade and hook and tighten screw as necessary.
Proper Pruning Techniques