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Old 04-27-2018, 03:56 PM   #1
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Using a pole saw to trim trees


I am looking to buy a pole saw.

Never used one, but have seen landscapers use one to trim my trees.

I need some advice from a usage perspective, and not so much technical specs, that's why I post it here and not the tools section.

Most of the time, I will be using it to trim tall branches overhanging the roof back to the roof line. So I would either be standing on the ground for the lower branches, or standing near the edge of the sloping roof, to get at the higher branches.

Is a longer reach pole saw more desirable?

I ask because I assume you don't cut holding the pole vertically if you do the saw dust will be raining on you and once you finish whatever coming down will hit you in the head right? So you need to stand to the side and hold the pole at an angle which means a 10' pole is only going to cut a branch say 7,8 feet high? So is it better to get one as long as possible? Also a longer one will allow me to stand further back from the edge of the roof.

I know some are gas powered, some electric with a cord or cordless. I do have nearby access to 120v electric and have long extension cords so that's not an issue.

I think I will not consider cordless simply because I won't be using it frequently enough and it will be a real pain if I have to recharge in the middle of a trimming.

Gas powered ones I am sure gives the best performance and portability. No cords to drag around.

Are corded electric pole saw worth considering if it's occasional use and lighter duty, by light duty I mean the thickest branch I cut would be less than the diameter of a canned soda.

Also, any reason you cannot use a pole saw horizontally? I mean can you use it to cut a cluster of bamboo an inch or two from the ground?
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:31 PM   #2
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


I have a chorded pole saw. I've had it for over 10 years. It's extendable, so I can get pretty high up. I think it's reach is about 12 feet.

The head is detachable, so I can use it as a small electric chain saw as well as a pole saw.

I'd buy one of these again in a second.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


I have a corded model that is basically a small chain saw strapped to the pole. All of the weight is at the end of the pole so it can be very cumbersome to handle.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


Since you intend to use it infrequently, depending on the size of the limbs to want to prune have you considered a saw blade on a pole pruner?



I have one and it is good for an inch or two. The blade easily removes so it doesn't get in the way when not needed.
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Old 04-27-2018, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
Since you intend to use it infrequently, depending on the size of the limbs to want to prune have you considered a saw blade on a pole pruner?



I have one and it is good for an inch or two. The blade easily removes so it doesn't get in the way when not needed.
I have one of those.

It doesn't quite do what I need.

First, many of the branches I cut are fairly slim, but out of reach. The manual saw will end up pulling the branch forward or backward because of the give. I am not cutting the branch at the base where it branched off from the main trunk, I am cutting them above where they cross the roof line.

There are many to cut. May be 40, 50 branches? A saw like that I will have to cut a long time. I am hoping a pole saw will not only be faster, but also won't have to deal with the slimmer branches yielding and flexing with a manual saw. I said infrequent as in I may do that twice a year, but each time I may do many branches
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Old 04-27-2018, 06:48 PM   #6
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


Both a powered pole saw and pruning hook work good together. Any limb 1/2" or less is ideal to be cut with the pruning hook. You may find trying to set a running chainsaw down on a 1/2" dia. limb and getting it to stay still to cut, will be a challenge. This is where the pruning hook works well.

I have my manual Stihl pruning hook/saw set up on extension poles where I cut some limbs up to two inch diameter up 24 ft. high. O.k. for just one or two to do this large of diameter, no more. JMO
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:14 PM   #7
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


I love my corded pole saw. I've gotten my moneys worth out of it the way things grow in this humidity. Mostly use it with the pole but have cut some hedges down using it as a hand saw. Even without a lot of upper body strength I've never had trouble holding the pole.

I even cut some larger branches from an old orange tree which I probably shouldn't have but was careful not to let the motor get hot.

The rubber part of the oil cap you push to oil it split recently. It was easy to find a universal cap online for just a couple bucks.
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:09 PM   #8
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


You said 7-8 feet high, I just use a hand operated lopper pruner to do this, and if I need to reach higher, I slip 4 feet long 1.5 inch PVC over the handles, to extend my height.

I have a 6 foot wide reach, so I have no problem opening the handles wide enough to get on a branch up to 3/4 inch diameter.



ED
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:12 PM   #9
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
Both a powered pole saw and pruning hook work good together. Any limb 1/2" or less is ideal to be cut with the pruning hook. You may find trying to set a running chainsaw down on a 1/2" dia. limb and getting it to stay still to cut, will be a challenge. This is where the pruning hook works well.

I have my manual Stihl pruning hook/saw set up on extension poles where I cut some limbs up to two inch diameter up 24 ft. high. O.k. for just one or two to do this large of diameter, no more. JMO
That is good to know.

I was wondering if cutting a small limb like 1/2" to 1" will be a problem. I could see how it can be an issue steadying the saw on a specific spot while I cut.

Many of the youtube videos showing pole saw usage were cutting the limbs right where the limb forks from the trunk, so there is a "crotch" to settle the pole saw and start it.

But in my case, I am trying to cut the limbs that are arching over the roof back to the roof line. So most likely I will be standing on the roof, using the pole saw reaching higher up at an angle to try to cut limbs that will yield.

Are these pruning hooks accessories specific to each pole saw? In other words a Remington pole saw has a Remington prune hook, a Oregon pole saw has an Oregon prune hook? Or is it a generic gadget one can attach to different pole saws.

One specific saw I saw made by Earthwise has an adjustable head with three angles. I wonder how useful that is. Does it help to be able to tlit the angle of the head?



One thing I found annoying is you can't really try and hold a specific pole saw you are interested in buying to see how it feels. I wanted to hold one fully extended in my hand, to see how balanced it is and how heavy it is to be holding one cutting at an angle. All the stores I have been to have may be one brand on display but they sell dozens of them online with store pick up. The only one or two on display are always zip tied to the rack so you can't remove them and try it. I don't mean turning one on, I mean just to get a feel or different ones. You kind of have to order one and see.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:28 PM   #10
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Re: Using a pole saw to trim trees


You could go to a specialized "saw shop", or a place that sells and services yard equipment.

Not a BOX store.

The saw shop, will allow you to feel it, even probably run it on some dead limbs in the yard that they have just for the purpose.


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