Pruning, trimming and felling trees and limbs is a horticultural practice that often starts in a tree's infancy. Tree trimming is essential for aesthetic purposes and to promote plant health. As a tree ages and starts to die or outgrows its location, felling a tree often is necessary. Working with the right types of saws when cutting trees results in strong, healthy trees and aids in proper tree or limb removal.
Most hand saws are best used for cutting mid-size branches over 1 inch in diameter. Also sometimes referred to as pruning saws, blade sizes on these saws often range from 13 to 22 inches. Use 13-inch blades for trimming and pruning. Larger blades work best to remove medium size branches. Home improvement and remodelling expert Bob Vila recommends making two cuts with a hand saw. Make the first horizontal cut at the bottom to prevent the bark from tearing when the branch falls. Make the second cut horizontally just above the first cut on the branch's top.
Pole saws are lightweight and best for cutting small branches or felling small trees up to about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Adjust the length of the pole to safely trim tall trees from ground level. Most pole saws have a lopper or shears which allow you to pull a rope which engages the cutting blade and cuts off the branch. Position yourself to the side of the branch as you are cutting it so that you are a safe distance from the falling branch.
Chain saws, the most powerful tree trimming tools, are available in either gas- or electric-powered models. With gas-powered models, you will need to fill it with fuel, which may be a specified mixture of gas and oil. These saws trim and fell the largest sized trees and limbs. A good degree of precaution must be taken when using these dangerous tools. Always wear a hard hat, goggles, hearing protection, leather gloves, hard-toe shoes and refrain from wearing baggy clothes that could catch on something and cause you to fall. Always carry the saw with both hands to keep it secure. Never stand on a ladder to trim higher branches with a chain saw--hire a professional for such dangerous jobs.
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