We all like growing trees in our backyard, but they start creating a problem when the tree branches become too thick, or too high to cut. In situations like these, a person has to choose an option from three choices: they can either a hire a professional and pay him a good amount of money to do the job, they can use a ladder, or they can purchase a pole saw and do all the cutting by themselves. When there is something to you can do yourself, then you should not be hiring a professional. Therefore, in carrying out the job yourself, you will need a pole saw.
It is very understanding that as far as pole saws are concerned, they can appear to be quite lethal and dangerous, and one may start worrying about how to use it. There is nothing to worry about actually, and in this article, we will make sure that you learn all the tricks needed to use a piece of heavy equipment as a pole saw.
7 Killer Hacks How To Use A Pole Saw
Clear A Large Work Area
Clear the area below the branch you are felling of all people and property and cordon off the area or otherwise keep people from re-entering. Also, clear the area of any trip hazards like fallen branches, and take note of ones you can’t move, like exposed roots. You need to be able to move quickly and safely in your area in case something goes wrong.
Plan Where You Will Need To Cut
Remember that the removal of a single branch usually requires many preliminary and jump cuts to reduce the weight before your final cut. Try to make cuts at horizontal or nearly horizontal surfaces of the branch or vine, if you have a choice.
Position The Saw
With both hands, bring your pole saw to a vertical position and pause there to control its weight. Now, reposition the saw to your cutting spot, with its weight resting on the branch (unless you are making a jump cut).
Holding the tool, move to a place where you can hold your end at chest level while standing well off to the side of the limb, never below it. In other words, your pole will be at an angle while you cut, not directly up and down. If your pole is adjustable, you may need to lengthen it to make this possible.
Begin Cutting With A Starting Groove
Make the first strokes slowly and in control, cutting perpendicular to the branch so that your first strokes bite in as much as possible, even if the rest of your cut needs to go a different direction. The idea is to create a groove in the wood to guide your later, faster strokes. On these early strokes, your saw will want to slip sideways if the branch is sloped; expect this. When it slips, stop, gather your energy, and reposition the saw before you continue.
Continue & Finish Your Cut
Once the saw is securely in the groove you can increase your stroke speed. Pole saws, just like pruning saws, cut on the pull stroke, helped by gravity. Keep your eye on the branch, especially as it nears the point of falling, to be ready to safely retreat if you need to.
Clean Up Your Area Of Work
Clear the fallen limb out of your work area before beginning the next cut, so that it does not trip you up.
4 Important Precautions To Keep In Mind When Using a Pole Saw
Once you are starting to think about pruning wood that you can’t reach from the ground, you’re getting into potentially dangerous territory. When professional arborists drop a large piece of wood, they use ropes in a pulley system to safely slow its descent to the ground. When you cut branches with pole saws and pruners, you can’t do that; you have to let the wood drop uncontrolled. High or heavy wood can damage, hurt, and kill when it falls.
- Pole saws are intended to use on limbs up to a couple of inches thick. The thicker the wood, the more dangerous, and the slower and more tiring it will be to cut.
- One must not try to cut overhead tree branches, until and unless they are familiar with the cutting techniques for reducing weight before making a final cut by making preliminary and jump-cut with your pole tools.
- Pole saws, especially with extensions to get above 8 feet, are heavy and tiring to work with.
- Do not ever work near power lines or on branches with any part above a power line.
Before the Cutting Process:
Before you take out those tools, it would be a good idea to do some research (Google is your best friend when it comes to research online) and look up how to prune the specific tree you’re trying to prune. You need to make sure the tree doesn’t require any type of special pruning technique. For example, there are some trees, like flowering trees and even fruit trees that should be pruned after they’re done blooming. On the same note, most evergreen trees don’t require any special pruning, unless you’re needing to remove dead growth.
5 Important Tips Keep In Mind When Using A Pole Saw
- In most cuts, the blade starts from the top side of the branch.
- When making a jump cut, the blade will cut from underneath the branch. This will be much more physically taxing cut since you work against gravity.
- Water sprouts, which are vertical, are hard or impossible to cut properly from the ground with a pole saw.
- It is fine to decide that you never want to do any kind of pruning you can’t reach from the ground. This is not something that commonly needs doing, and which you’ll never need to do if you don’t have a major tree on your property.
- Before you use a pole saw for your first time, read about all the cautions and make sure this is really a job you should be attempting yourself.
10 Parts of Pole Saws
Before moving on with the cutting part, it is suggested that you know about the parts of pole saws. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the pole saw, so when you actually have to use it, it does not seem like a foreign object to you. The parts of pole saws are as follows:
Chain Oil Bulb:
While you’re cutting, I suggest pressing the chain oil bulb every 30 seconds. By doing this, you will be releasing oil to the chain, which will help it run smoother.
Front Hand Guard:
This is a little piece located on top of the pole saw and it is responsible for protecting your left hand.
Oil Level Window:
This shows you how much oil you have left for the chain. When you’re operating the pole saw, the oil shouldn’t get below half-way. If it does, stop and put oil in it.
Guide Bar Tip and Guide Bar:
This is responsible for guiding and supporting the saw chain.
Chain Oil Cap:
This is where you put chain and bar oil so that the chain can be lubricated when you’re operating it.
This is the one doing the cutting.
As you’re cutting limbs, this will help you maintain stability.
If you need more reach, then the extension boom will help you – it attaches to the chainsaw.
This will allow you to keep a nice grip on the saw.
This is a safety feature on the pole saw that will prevent it from starting when it isn’t being used.
Why Should You Prune Trees?
There are numerous reasons as to why someone would want to prune a tree. It’s a good idea that you make tree maintenance in your yard a regular habit so that they can continue to grow and stay healthy.
Many people only think about trimming their trees after a big storm has damaged the branches or if the lower branches are hanging down and getting in the way. Some additional reasons to trim trees would be to encourage fruit and flower production, to prevent disease by giving the tree better airflow, to encourage the tree to grow bigger or to shape the tree to your desired shape.
What is the Best Time to Prune Trees?
The best time to prune trees would be when the tree has gone dormant. This means the best time to trim branches on the tree would be during the winter months. By cutting the tree while it is still dormant, this will lower the risk of pests getting in the open cut wounds and it will also lower the risk of the tree getting a disease. Pruning before spring will help promote new growth. If you live in an area where climates are harsh, then it would be a good idea to wait until the coldest weather is done before you prune the trees, which would be early spring or late winter. In milder climates though, you can trim a tree anytime during the cold months. Don’t worry, if you want to trim tree branches during the spring and summer months, you can still do it. Damaged or dead branches can also be removed during this time. Just try to avoid cutting on rainy days or when it’s really humid outside.
4 Operating and Pruning Methods:
- Start Small. If you’re new to trimming trees with a pole saw, it would be a good idea to start off small, then work your way into it.
- Removing Large Limbs. When you’re removing large limbs from a tree, it is important that you take extra caution. When you remove large limbs, it can be risky to the health of the tree. It would be best that you leave them be unless you have a good reason to cut them, like if they’re damaged, or dead.
- Take a Step Back. As you’re working on the tree, take a step back, and look at the tree from different angles. When trimming branches, it’s easy to get carried away.
- Don’t trim more than ¼ of the living tree branches. If you have to trim any more than that, do it next year.
It is very understanding that using a pole saw looks complicated, but it is just the look that gives the idea. In reality, if you follow the above-mentioned directions, tricks, and trips, using a pole saw will not be a difficult task.