Virtually every homeowner needs to prune trees, shrubs, bushes or other plants in the yard, but knowing which tool is best suited for any pruning job is often a challenge.
Landscape designer, Doug Scott, of Redeem Your Ground in Atlanta, Georgia, says choosing the right tool is key to maximizing beauty and minimizing damage to plants.
For most basic pruning around the yard, bypass, or hand pruners, also known as garden or pruning shears, are your first go-to tools. Best for making clean cuts through living plants and tree branches, they work much like a set of heavy-duty scissors.
Anvil-style shears have just one sharp blade closing against a flat, wide blade. Much like a knife cutting against a cutting board, Anvil-style shears are often better able to cope with larger branches, but they crush plant stems more than bypass-style pruners.
Most homeowners will primarily use bypass-style pruners, as they tend to crush living stems less, doing less harm. They are also more capable of getting into tight spots for close, precise cuts.
One pitfall Scott advises avoiding is the urge to save money and buy lesser-quality hand pruners.
Since pruning shears see so much use, it makes sense to buy the best ones you can afford. From my experience, inexpensive models simply dont last very long.
He says a well-cared for, high-quality set of bypass pruners can be a lifetime investment for the average homeowner.
Loppers are a better choice for branches of more than ½-inch (12.7mm) in diameter. Much like hand pruning tools, there are bypass loppers, which operate much like a large, long-handled set of bypass shears, while anvil-style loppers utilize just one cutting blade.
Bypass loppers generally cut with more precision, while anvil-style loppers are typically capable of generating more cutting force, Scott said.
In the Cut It Out video, Scott discusses the types of pruning jobs each type of lopper is well-suited for, and provides other resources for homeowners looking to prune more effectively, with less effort.
Visit WeAreExmark.com/DIY to view Cut It Out, and other helpful DIY videos in Exmarks ˜Done in a Weekend series.
About Exmark Exmark Manufacturing was incorporated in May 1982 as an independent manufacturer of professional turf care equipment. Today, it is the leading manufacturer of commercial mowers and equipment for the landscape professional. Exmark mowers are trusted 2-to-1 over the next best-selling brand of zero-turn mowers by landscape professionals. In addition to designing, building and marketing quality turf care equipment, Exmarks goal is total customer satisfaction. All Exmark products are designed to help customers increase productivity while delivering unmatched quality. Products are sold to distributors and dealers who share the companys commitment to customer service and quality products. Learn more at Exmark.com.