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A Cut Above Hand Tools (pruning) Garden Sense

Bypass loppers pruners

Tracey Saxby
Author Company: Integration and Application Network


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.

Next week:
Proper Pruning Techniques

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Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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