best pole pruner

griddlerMarch 11, 2014

I recently acquired some property with several wild apple trees that have never been pruned. Some (most) are up to 30 feet tall. The fruit tastes good and I would like to start shaping them. Pole pruners range from $50-$200+. Are the expensive ones worth the money? Are there models with a larger throat and ratchet action to handle branches that are older, bigger and harder?

How important is the saw portion? is it important that the saw can be replaced?

Not looking for commercial production, just having fun with the new property. However, I am an experienced home brewer (beer) with an antique apple grinder/press that I have rebuilt, but never used (because I did not have access to apples til now).

Bottom line, Should I grab the home depot $50-80 dollar models, or go for the top of the line $200+ models?

Or, is somewhere in between best, because sometimes you can spend many more dollars for not much improvement in performance.

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alan haigh

I've never found standard pole pruners very useful. I realize you have to be very careful but if you can reach the branches with a ladder you can do much more accurate work with a fraction of the labor.

I would think with neglected trees your needs would require more sawing than lopping. For this purpose a pole saw with a good tri-cut Japanese blade is extremely helpful. Look to Silky or ARS and expect to pay. However, it is still physically much easier to do the work with ladders instead of poles. Much easier to do quality work, without ripping bark as well.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:18AM
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copingwithclay sells the Marvin "Bull" pruner head for $60, which is what some pros use for commercial work. Instead of buying a long wooden dowel made of oak to use for a handle, you may want to consider buying a 20 ft length of galvanized top rail used atop chain link fencing. Drilling a bolt hole through the pipe is easy enough. If the pipe diameter is slightly oversized, a hacksaw can be used to make a 4" long slit through the center of the pipe to slim it down to fit inside the pruner head socket. I made a 4 ft pipe extension to further my reach to 25 feet plus when pruning very shady garden areas with giant trees all around. It is a "lifetime" pruner, and the exercise is good for you.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:08AM
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