Pruning is one of the essential works that need to be done if you are growing plants in your garden.
It does not matter what type of plants you are growing, either ornamental or vegetable plants, pruning practices cannot be avoided.
There are many reasons why you need to prune your plants, and the reason to prune could be different based on the needs and circumstances.
When talking about plants pruning, one the most important tool that is going to be used is the hand pruners.
The hand pruners can be deemed as a must have tool for every gardener as it is going to be used frequently.
We are going to discuss a few different types of hand pruners that are usually used by home gardeners to prune their garden plants in this article.
Before we go into further details about the different type of hand pruners, it is good if we could revise a bit of the needs to prune your plants.
As mentioned earlier, pruning needs to be done for various reasons. Some of the well-known reasons to prune your plants are as listed below:
2. Reasons to Prune Your Plants
a. Remove Disease Infected Plant’s Part
One of the reasons to prune your plant is to cut off the disease infected plant’s part.
No matter how diligently you take care of your plants, there will always be a chance that your plants to be infected by diseases.
The importance to cut off the infected plants’ part is to make sure that the disease does not spread to other parts of the plant as well as to other nearby plants.
The plant’s parts that have been cut also need to be treated correctly to avoid the disease from spreading within your garden.
b. Maintain the Plant’s Shape
This type of pruning practice is usually done to the ornamental plants.
It is done to keep up the desired shape of the plants so that it looks beautiful and neat all the time.
Apart from that, it is also done to ensure your plants are not blocking any views or ways around your garden.
c. Increase Yield
If you are growing vegetable or fruit plants, there are types of plants where you need to cut some of the plant’s parts to increase the yield.
The common example of a plant’s part that is usually removed to increase the yield is the suckers.
Another example of where this type of pruning practice commonly used is in the grape fruits plantings.
70 to 80 percent of the existing branches of the grape plants need to be cut off in order for the plants to produce higher fruits for the next season.
d. To Protect People and Property
Some plant’s parts need to be pruned to protect people and properties.
As an example, there are plants that have thorns on their branches and if left to grow wildly it could harm people especially the children who are playing and lingering around your garden.
There are also plants such as creepers that could grow onto your properties and if left without proper control it could lead to damages to you properties.
e. Stimulate Growth
Some plants need to be pruned excessively in order to stimulate their growth such as to increase the numbers of branches.
If you do not prune the plants, the branches will not be very much in numbers and the plants will not be looking nice.
3. Pruning Tips
While pruning is a good thing to be done to your plants in order to have the desired result, you are not allowed to recklessly do it.
Wrongly done can severely affect your plant’s growth instead of improving them.
There are some rules and tips that you need to follow in order to get a good result and avoid problems.
Some of the tips on how you could do the pruning practice correctly are:
a. Correct angle
When you cut the branch of a plant, the cutting angle should be about 45º.
This is to avoid the water from staying on the cut surfaces of the plants.
Failing to do this could cause your plants to be infected by diseases.
b. Correct Tools.
As there many types of pruning tools being sold in the market and we are going to discuss it in this article later, it is important for you to know which pruning tool is the best to be used for every pruning works that you are going to do.
Choosing a wrong type of tool could severely damage your plants.
c. Correct Spot
When pruning a plant, it is important that you do it at the correct spot on the plant’s part that you want to cut.
You cannot just simply cut anywhere you want.
A general tip when pruning a plant is to cut just above a dormant bud of a plant’s branches.
The plant’s branches areas that were cut without a dormant bud will most likely to rot and eventually die.
The rotten and dead branches will be the weakest area of the plants and easily open to pest and disease attack.
This however only a general rule, some plants have the specific spots where the cutting should take place.
General care knowledge of the plants that you are growing should be acquired to help you to care the plants correctly.
d. Correct Time
Certain plants are best to be pruned in certain times or certain seasons.
Following the timing rules, could lead to better recovery and better health of your plants.
As an example, some plants are best to be cut during summers such as walnuts and maples and some plants are best to be cut during winters such as barberries and hydrangeas.
e. Cleanliness of Your Tools
It is very crucial to make sure the tools that you are going to use to cut the plants are clean.
The cleanliness of the tool that you are using is important to be looked into especially after cutting the disease infected plants.
It is to make sure that the tool does not transfer any disease from the infected plants to other plant’s part or any other plants in your garden.
One the best practices are to wipe your tools with an alcohol solution to disinfectant it.
4. Type of Hand Pruners
Most gardeners have already been aware that there are many types of hand pruners available in the market.
However, there are not many people know the correct type of hand pruners that they need to have according to the pruning works that they need to do.
It is important to mention again that using the wrong hand pruners could adversely affect your plants instead of improving it.
Below are some examples of hand pruners’ type and examples of products that are easily available at Amazon.com.
a. Anvil Type of Hand Pruning Shear
Anvil types of hand pruners usually have the bottom part flat rather than sharp.
The bottom part will act as an anvil that holds the plant branches and the cutting will be done by the upper blade.
Many gardeners are afraid to use this type of pruning shears
They are afraid of crushing the plant’s branches with the hand pruner instead of cutting it.
This situation usually happened when the cutting blade is dull or the branches that are going to be cut are too thick as the pruner’s blade could not cut through the branches.
However, if the blade is very sharp or you are going to cut the dead branches or small non-woody plants, then you do not have to be worried to use this type of hand pruners.
An example of the anvil type of pruners is the Corona RP 3230 Ratchet Action Anvil Pruner and the Black & Decker 1114 Professional 8-Inch Anvil Garden Pruner.
b. Bypass Type of Hand Pruning Shears
The bypass type of pruning shears work almost the as a scissor where both the bottom and the upper blades are sharp and help to do the cutting.
In general, these types of pruners are suitable to be used to any type of plants as long as the diameter of the plant’s branches is in the range of the cutting ability of the pruning shears.
You could have the cutting diameter range information from the product’s description given by the manufacturer.
A lopper works almost the same as a pruning shear except it is used to cut bigger branches.
Same as the pruning shears, there are also the anvil type and the bypass type of loppers for you to choose depending on your needs.
A lopper usually has a longer handle to make it easier for you to cut the big branches without much effort from your side.
An example of the bypass type lopper is the Fiskars 32-Inch PowerGear and an example of anvil type lopper is the Corona FL 3420 Compound Action with Fiberglass Handles
d. Snip Type of Pruning Shear
A snip is almost same like a scissor except it is being used to cut small plants’ branches.
Booth of the upper and lower blades of the snip pruning shear is usually thin and sharp.
e. Pruning Saw
If a lopper is still not possible for you to cut the thick branches, then you need to have the pruning saw to help you.
Pruning saws work the same as any other saw except it is designed to not to stick when cutting branches even in the presence of the plant’s sap.
Examples of pruning saw are EverSaw 8.0 Folding Hand Saw and Felco F-600 Classic Folding Saw with Pull-Stroke Action
5. Factors to Consider When Buying a Pruning Shear
As there are many variations and designs of hand pruners available in the market, you should carefully select the one that you can comfortably use.
Some of the factors that need to be considered when looking for a hand pruner to buy are as listed below:
a. The Size of the Pruning Shears
The size of the hand pruners is very important to be considered so that the hand pruners that you are going to buy could be used efficiently and comfortably.
There are two types of sizes about the pruning shears that need to be looked into.
The first one is the size of the hand pruners’ handle.
This is to make sure that you can comfortably hold and grip the tools when you are using it.
The second one is the size of the pruning shear’s head.
This is to make sure that you could use the tools correctly according to the plant’s branches thickness and have a clean and nice cut when pruning your plants.
b. Ergonomic Design
A lot of hand pruners nowadays come with ergonomic design.
The meaning of ergonomic design is the design that was created to give you the greatest comfort and to avoid injuries.
For example, there are hand pruners that are designed to help people with arthritis problem to do gardening works without having to worry about the pain that they need to suffer afterward.
An example of this kind of pruning shears is the Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip.
This pruning shear has been awarded the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation award.
There are also battery powered or corded pruning shears available in the market.
If you are not capable of gripping the normal hand pruners for any reasons such as hand injuries, then this type of hand pruners could be an alternative for you.
Using this type of pruning shears does not need any effort from you to cut the plant’s branches.
You just need to push a button and the machine will automatically do the cutting for you.
Example of this type of hand pruners is the Zenport SCA2 ePruner 1.25-inch Cut Battery Powered Electric Pruner
6. Maintaining Your Hand Pruners
Other than using the hand pruners all the time, it is important for you to do the maintenance of your tools once in a while.
There are a few reasons why maintaining the hand pruners is good to be done.
The first reason is to help the tools to last longer.
This could help to save your money from keep buying the new hand pruners every now and then. Bear in mind that good hand pruners with high quality are not cheap.
The second reason is to ensure the hand pruners is always in the sharp condition when you want to use it to avoid injuries to the plants.
Some of the maintenance works that need to be done are:
a. Sharpening the Blade
As mentioned earlier you need to make sure that you hand pruners is always sharp.
To do this you have to sharpen your hand pruners with a proper sharpener.
There are a lot of sharpeners that are being sold in the market for you to choose that you can use to sharpen your hand pruners
Some of them are:
b. Cleanliness of the Blade
Apart from ensuring the hand pruners blade to be always sharped, you also need to clean it once in a while.
You do not want your plants to be in touch with the rusted pruner’s blade as it is not a good thing to do and may affect your plants adversely.
One of the products available in the market that you can use to clean you hand pruner’s blade is the ARS Blade Cleaner.
c. Oiling the Blade
To ensure the pruner’s blade not easily rusted and stuck while you are using it, you are advice to sometimes oil your pruners’ head.
One of the products that are widely used to oil the blade of the hand pruners especially at the joints is the Liquid Bearings Oil.
By doing this you are not only avoiding the blade from being rusted but could also help to prevent injuries to yourself as your pruning tools are in a good condition.
It is hoped that you could now understand a few different type of hand pruners that are available in the market and how to use them correctly.
Knowing which tool to use for each work not only could help you to do the work efficiently and obtain the desired result but could also save your money from buying unnecessary tools.
Should you have anything to suggests or add from what have been discussed in this article, please do not hesitate to write it in the comment section below.