Pole saws can be tricky to use and control, because of their handle length, but it’s not difficult to master the long pole saw once you get the hang of it. There are a few different primary uses of a pole saw, including brush clearing, pruning and trimming:

  • Brush clearing. You can use a long pole saw to clear out some brush, undergrowth and another ground cover in order to use it for either construction or fire control.
  • Pruning. Another very common use of a long pole saw is pruning or cutting down specific tree branches to shape a tree for either decoration or better growth over the next year. However, in order to use the long pole saw for pruning, you need to carefully plan and prune for the best effect. For example, you should never prune in the fall, and you should plan your pruning session for best results.
  • Trimming. You can also use a long pole saw to trim or remove dead, dying or obstructing tree branches in order to keep your yard as safe as possible.

Using a manual long pole saw

But how exactly do you use a manual long pole saw? Manual pole saws are great for pruning but less useful for trimming and brush clearing. You need to plan each cut ahead of time, determining where exactly to cut and where and how each branch will fall. It’s generally best to cut a few inches from the main trunk unless you are shaping the tree.

Anything that is at risk below the tree branch in question should be cleared out before you begin cutting the tree brush. Make sure to cut where the branch is horizontal, since angled cuts are very difficult. Before you make the cut, make sure that the tree branch is not too heavy, as it could actually split during the cutting process and harm the tree as a whole. Instead, trim the branch closer to the tip and work your way to the main cutting point until the branch is light enough to safely cut down without harming the tree.

Using a powered pole saw

When you are using a powered saw, whether it is gas or electric, keep in mind that you will be making a much rougher cut. This means that this tool is great for trimming and clearing brush but less efficient at pruning. When you are brush clearing, you should simply power up the pole saw and gently run it in front of you, like you would with a weed whacker.

Use the powered saw for trimming the same way you would a manual saw for pruning but with slightly less attention to planning for the tree’s health. Most of these branches are already dead or dying, so you don’t need to worry too much about removing these branches.