How high can I reach with a pole saw?

My pecan is worse than I thought after recent ice storm. It has about a dozen broken but still attached limbs that need cutting. The pivot point where they’re flopped over is 20-25+ ft high. Any chance of a pole saw working on that for 2-4 inch limbs? Any other ideas besides hiring help?

Don’t know anyone locally. Might have to call in help from 150 miles. That sounds like way more than I want to spend.

The tree will grow back but isn’t safe to get under to harvest nuts in this condition.

I had an elm tree growing next to my house that had started to lean way over toward the house. I bought one of those trimming hand chain saws. I weighted a rope and threw it over branches in the tree and cut them all off, until I had topped it clear off. It was a lot of work and the chain would hang up pretty bad until you got through the sap ring, but i cut some pretty big limbs. The last two cuts I made it was probably 8 inches in diameter.

Thank you! I hadn’t thought of that option. It sounds like it might be tough to use on broken limbs but my tree probably needs to be shortened a bit. So maybe I could cut just below the breaks with that tool.

A 27ft pole saw costs $175 probably at least $200 with shipping. I think that would be pretty flimsy at that length.

A pole saw is twelve feet. With a latter you can get higher but 20 to 25 feet would be tough and possibly dangerous. A rope saw can get higher but is difficult to get into position since it is thrown. I saw the picture of your pecan trees and it looks like a professional athlete might even have trouble throwing a rope saw into the right position.

I’ve used a 12 ft pole saw many times. I can’t imagine trying to use 27 ft pole saw unless I was cutting a one inch branch. Maybe I’m just a weak guy.

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Are you in the country? Had a neighbor shoot down a few limbs once. You are probably laughing but I’m not joking.

I am laughing but had thought of that myself. I guess great minds think alike.!!! Unfortunately I live too close to town and ammo is hard to come by these days!

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Ya, no kidding but I do have all winter :weary:

They have pole saws with a 32’ reach. I have not tried them but one use would pay for itself. There are several sites that have them. Here is one on ebay for just under $200 The guy has a 100% rating and has been on ebay since 2003 so I would buy it if I needed it.


I like to use a box end wrench for a weight and a fairly light rope. I through it with my right hand. I let about three feet of rope out and start spinning it vertically , counter clockwise, when I get it going good I fling it up over the limb I want to cut off.

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If you check with Ben Meadows or Forestry Supply you will see that you can go much higher with a pole saw- some offer additional extensions and it is not unusual to go higher than that- I’ve done it often.

If I’m working lower and often higher than that I prefer to be on top of the cut because it takes so much less arm and shoulder strength and is much quicker- but then, I’m a tree monkey. Pole saws will sometimes cause the branch to rip off bark as it breaks free which can require two cuts to avoid.

I own one of the pricey ARS models, which would only be worth it if you were going to use it a lot over the years, but you might be able to come up with a good one at a tool rental service. For onetime use that might be your best bet.

A tricut Japanese style blade makes the job twice as easy. Silky and ARS make the best when they are manufactured in Japan and not China.

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makes me wish fedex could ship 25 feet bamboo poles from the tropics, or at least from one of the local growers in usa
i can’ t think of any other material so readily available, and as strong and long, and unbelievably light as bamboo. If they can use it to harvest coconuts from ~40 feet, a bamboo pole can easily be used to thread a rope over a branch much lower than that.

incredibly low in density, one person could handle and hoist it-- instead of the pole ‘handling and hoisting’ the person, haha

I assume you use safety gear and ropes at 25ft. I’d try if I had the right safety gear.

Renting a pole saw is probably my best first bet. With my luck I’d probably get it stuck in the tree and end up paying for the thing.

:I doubt you could accomplish that or I would have done it by now. The design requires cutting from the top so the branch breaks away from the blade.

It’s serious business when dealing with large trees, heavy wood and large branches. Fortunetly most fruit trees aren’t in that catagory. I knew two people who died pruning trees. One was a professional.

Even chain saws make me nervous. A 4 inch branch probably won’t kill but it sure could lay someone my age low for weeks. Falling from 20ft would be even worse.

Thanks for your input!!

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If you don’t feel safe under the tree picking up nuts, why would you feel safe under the tree wrestling with a 25 foot saw? Bite the bullet, spend a couple hundred bucks and rent a boom lift for the day. It will be a lot easier and a LOT safer. Too many people get hurt on jobs like this, it’s just not worth it.

If I can rent a lift for a couple hundred that would be a very good option. Thanks for your input and I’ll look into that.

In my part of NY I doubt you could rent one for two hours for less than $500.

Have you considered leaving the branches as they are. They are extremely unlikely to come down on you when you are gathering nuts if you avoid windy weather.

We had heavy snow in early Oct a couple years back and most of the snapped branches eventually came down on the affected trees. I never bothered removing snapped branches from chestnut trees on my property and it certainly doesn’t seem to have caused any long term issues that I didn’t bother giving them an arborist’s clean-up. Maybe this winter I will go up there and train them back to a central leader to keep them strong, but it wouldn’t really be necessary although it might prevent co-dominant type breakage later. .

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I would at least make sure I felt safe picking up the nuts. I would accomplish that by having a rake on a long pole that I could extend and pull back just like a fruit picker. They use them in lakes to rake in invasive water plants. Alan makes a good point the wind will blow at some point and do the most dangerous job for you in most cases.