I’ve been cutting scionwood like a madman this week. My old pole pruner (no brand name - purchased when the local Central Tractor store was going out of business 20 yrs ago) has never been all that good, and as the plastic pulley that the cord runs over has photodegraded and the cord binds/hangs up, I’m looking to replace it.
I have an electric pole saw, but it’s not really what I need for cutting scionwood from (pecan, hickory, mulberry) branches beyond my reach.
Had a visit from a younger grower a week or so back, and he had a Fiskars telescoping pole pruner/saw. It was better than mine… but I’m looking for any input from folks who’ve used it, or have a recommendation for a better one.
Probably among the best are manufactured by ARS. Certainly you want something with a “tri-cut” blade of very hard steel. I notice that ARS now sells it with a fairly straight blade. For a pole saw I prefer more curve so your are cutting more from the top instead of the side. Less bark stripping on remaining wood and more help from gravity to make the cut.
Thanks @clarkinks & @alan . @sideview (Rock Bridge Trees) had one similar to that ARS the other day at a gathering… I didn’t look at it to see who made it. seemed to work almost effortlessly - but wouldn’t (I think) reach as high as that telescoping Fiskars
The biggest contractor in Greenwich has his crews using Jameson’s saws and the replacement blades are quite reasonably priced. I was teaching some of their arborists how to prune apple trees and noticed that the blades cut very well.
He said he wanted a pole-saw-pruner. That long reach pruner is a nice tool. I’m not sure Lucky needs anything as pricey as what we are linking for him. Probably any light pole extension with a turbo-cut blade would be far superior to the one he’s replacing and more than adequate for his needs.
I just bought the below linked EZ Kut 20’ pole saw. It’s very similar to a Silky (now Notch in the U.S.) or a Barnel. It’s lightweight, which is nice when it’s extended. They have a 15’ I think too. This, as opposed to the other brands, comes with a lifetime warranty. Since I just received it recently, I haven’t used it extensively. However, I like what I’ve seen so far. It gets higher than electric or battery pole saws. I’d say it’s probably better for branches that are a bit thicker than your typical pencil size scions, but it might work for that size.
I also have a wooden pole saw with loppers at the end. I don’t like it as much as the EZ Kut. The pole, being circular, tends to twist unless you tighten it down extremely hard. The saw doesn’t cut as well as the Japanese blades on the EZ Kut (Barnel & Notch). Also, I like the “blades” at the ends. It keeps you in the cut allowing you to use the full blade and you can use it to cut the limb if the bark holds it after the cut (difficult at times to make undercuts when high up to prevent that). It doesn’t sound like much but when you have it extended, it’s a pain to get back in the cut. I tried out the Fiskars and Corona in the store. The Corona is similar to my wooden pole saw. Not a fan of it. The Fiskars is a little better but I like the blade style of the EZ Kut better. If you use it sparingly, either of those is probably fine, and cheaper. If you use it often like I intend to, my thoughts are it’s a nice upgrade.
As others suggested, the problem with pole pruners is reach. As in, how high can they reach while still being effective. I purchased a Dewalt electric that cuts very well up to 18 feet high. The problem is that my 24 year old trees are much taller. To harvest scionwood in the future I will either have to find a longer pole pruner or thin some trees by cutting them down. I need to thin the trees so that part does not bother me. What does bother me is that some of the trees I need to thin are the only tree of that variety in my planting. My suggestion is simple, look for the longest reach possible with 20 feet being the minimum and prefer 25 feet.
Hell, I hate using pole saws and I own a nice ARS version. I work on ladders all day long and do a lot of climbing as well, not with ropes, but squirreling. By the time I’m too old for that I will certainly be too old to do much pruning with a pole saw, 3X the effort at a third the speed. The wounds aren’t as clean either.
The saw is reasonably well designed so that it does not bounce in normal use. I try to under-cut branches so the bark won’t tear. This is difficult as the saw was designed to cut on one side, and it is not the top which is used to make undercuts. That is the only complaint I have. Otherwise, yes, it is a bit heavy. I would not recommend it to anyone who is not strong enough to handle the weight.
I have the Corona and would not recommend it (it was a gift). The fiberglass telescoping pole makes it way too heavy and the saw is made out of a lighter gauge metal than it should be causing it to flex and wobble when trying to make a cut. The bypass lopper degrades quickly and this makes it difficult to make clean cuts. It’s just a terrible quality pole saw, just like everything else Corona makes. In my opinion this is one to avoid.
I may be wrong, but I think the Dewalt pole saw is about 12’ in length but they state it has a 15’ reach (after factoring in a person’s working height). Maybe I remember that wrong from when I looked at it though.
A bit over 11 feet to be exact. I stated this elsewhere when someone asked which pole pruner I purchased. I’m 6’2" and can cut effectively up to 18 feet high with it. I could probably stretch to reach 20 feet.