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6 Essential Tree Pruning Tools Your Garden Needs

Pruning is one of the best ways to ensure trees’ growth and long-term health. Plus, doing so makes your yard look pretty and clean. However, for a successful tree pruning experience, you need the right tools and equipment. 

In this blog post, we’ve listed down 6 essential tree pruning tools to keep your garden trees happy & healthy.

What are the top 6 essential tree pruning tools?

The type of tools you should use for tree pruning in Christchurch depends on the size of your tree’s branches. Pruning smaller limbs is quite ideal, since that way a tree can recover (from a little wound) much faster than a bigger one.

That being said, here are the top tree pruners for your trees, based on their size and structure.

1. Hand pruner, bypass pruner or anvil shears

Hand pruners are widely used to cut smaller branches or just twigs, where the thickness (radius) of the branch is equal to one inch or less. 

But for a clean, steady and precise cut, we recommend that you go for bypass pruners. They come with a curved cutting blade which works wonders for chopping off branches in uneven (or odd) angles. 

Professional arborists in Christchurch also use anvil pruning shears on dead twigs since they have a straight yet knife-like edge.

2. Loppers

A lopper (also known as lopping shears) is perfect for cutting branches with a diameter of around two inches. Loppers typically come with a label that mentions the size of the branch they’re meant to cut, to help you choose the right one.

Loppers (lops) come in two different styles: bypass and anvil, similar to hand pruners.

While pruning trees, anvil loppers are great for cutting dead branches, and bypass cutting blades can help you make cleaner cuts, without damaging the tree’s tissues. Loppers also often come with a gear-like option to add power (speed, sturdiness) to the cutting. To enhance your reach, search for lopping shears with a variety of handle lengths.

3. Pruning Saw

A pruning saw is usually useful for cutting limbs that are three to five inches in diameter. And, with a little more strength, you may also use them to clip comparatively larger branches. 

They have tempered metal blades that stay sharp for a long period of time. Pruning saws cut on both the pull and push strokes, which speeds up the process, and they are available in different types to suit different demands.

4. Rope Saw

A rope saw is an effective tree pruning tool to cut branches up to five inches in diameter. It has a chain-style cutting blade that can chop through larger branches with considerable effort. 

While standing on the ground, most rope saws can prune limbs up to 25 feet tall.

5. Chainsaw

If you want to cut trunks or prune branches thicker than regular three branches, chainsaws help make the cleanest cuts. However, if you believe your tree pruning project requires the use of a chainsaw for pruning trees, you should consult a professional arborist to do it for you.

They have the knowledge and abilities to do the task without jeopardising the safety of the people in the surrounding area or the tree’s health itself.

6. Pole Pruner

A pole pruner is ideal for cutting limbs that are out of our reach. They can prune branches with a diameter of up to two inches. You may use a bypass pole pruner to protect your tree’s health by making clean cuts. 

When removing large branches, use a pole pruner that comes with interchangeable cutting instruments like a pruning saw and a bypass pruner.

Maintaining Your Tree Pruning Tools


The finest and sharpest cuts can happen only while using sharp tree pruning equipment, which can also help reduce the cutting labour by half. 

This is why you should first sharpen your equipment, such as pruning shears, pole pruners, loppers, and other equipment, using a sharpening device or a stone. You can also contact a local professional to help you sharpen or replace that equipment.


Fungi, bacteria, and other microbes thrive on pruning cuts, making them ideal entrance portals for disease-causing organisms. Most professional arborists in Christchurch swear by this general rule of sanitising pruning instruments in between cuts for the sake of your tree’s health.

Some arborists even advise cutting branches during a dormant season, i.e., when the organisms also remain dormant, since this can help reduce the need to sterilise your equipment that often.


When it comes to sanitising tree pruning equipment between cuts, soak them in Listerine, dettol, or rubbing alcohol for approximately two minutes. While bleach can disinfect equipment, it’ll also corrode metal. After using any of these sanitising treatments, be sure to thoroughly clean the instrument with water and soap before drying it.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Clean the blades completely after each usage. Make sure to wipe away any sticky sap with a cloth coated in a solvent like turpentine or mineral spirits. Rub lubricating oil into the pruning tools to prevent corrosion and to lubricate the joints and other moving components to maintain them in good working order.

When should you hire a professional arborist for tree pruning in Christchurch?

Pruning trees can get tedious fast, well, depending on how good or bad you are at doing it. Worse, if you are not trained properly on how to use pruning tools correctly and safely, you could end up causing damage to life or property. Thus, it’s best to get in touch with a qualified arborist in Christchurch to make sure you, your people and property are safe.

Another common hazard is just using a ladder to work on out-of-reach branches. Save yourself the trouble and hire a tree pruning professional in Christchurch if you are not able to clip a branch, using an extended pole pruner. 

It’s also not a good idea to prune limbs near power lines. Avoid using pruning tools on really large and thick branches too, since they require heavy-duty equipment and professional skills.

Pro Arb Canterbury delivers trustworthy and affordable tree care services in Christchurch, Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Waimakariri District and North Canterbury. We provide tree planting, trimming, pruning, and removal, as well as other tree-related services. Our trained arborists will assess your property, listen to your concerns, and provide solutions to ensure that you get the results you want.

If you have any questions about our tree pruning services, please contact our arborists here. We’ll be happy to talk about your needs and provide suggestions for keeping your trees healthy and beautiful.