Work in the garden should bring pleasure. For the care of trees and shrubs a variety of improvised mechanisms are used. They help to prune rose bushes, renew fruit trees. Among the many types, models and brands, it is very difficult to navigate, even for professionals. But the constant requirement is functionality, ergonomics and efficiency in the work.
How to choose a pruner, what to pay attention to – we will talk about this in the article.
Brief content of the article:
Purpose and merits
Even novice gardeners know about the need to regularly prune trees and shrubs on their garden plot. This way you can shape the correct crown in time, regulate its growth, size and shape.
As a result, fruiting increases, and the harvesting procedure is greatly simplified. An indispensable helper in this case is an ordinary garden pruner.
These devices can be of the most different kinds, which allows you to make high-quality pruning of young trees, give shrubs the most bizarre decorative form. They can be used to quickly thin the crown, eliminating excessive density, which is detrimental to future crops and visibility on the site.
Sick or dead branches are also effectively eliminated. If you grow flowers for sale or just to decorate your home, this tool will make it easy to cut beautiful buds. It is also used in the care of vines, in the process of adjusting the length of the root system, for cutting cuttings.
A quality unit allows you to cut branches with minimal effort, and the cuts themselves should be even, clean. At the place of cutting should not create jagged edges, as this often leads to diseases of the plant. When choosing, you should pay attention to the strength and reliability of the construction.
All the variety of models can be seen in the photo of the garden secateurs. In the standard design there are distinguished such constituent elements:
- Supporting action knife;
- Working version of the cutting blade;
- Attachment axle with bolt and nut;
- lock or retainer;
Basic types and their applicability
Depending on the features of the cutting blade, there are flat and contact designs. Flat pruning shears have straight in shape cutting components. It is effectively used for thinning young plants, pruning branches.
Equipped with two blades, a cutting blade and a counter-blade, it ensures a neat cut shape. The blades are pressed into the branch without much compression and with minimal damage to the wood.
The contact design is more suitable for cutting stiff or dry wood. This is possible due to the presence of a single blade and a stop. The cutting plane penetrates the wood, while the stop ensures that the branch is anchored and the pressure is distributed evenly along the cutting line without causing splitting.
The task you set yourself when doing garden work predetermines the choice you make. If you need to trim annual or perennial trees and shrubs, then the flat type will suit you. For shaping and shaping plants, it is better to choose the contact version.
When using gardening equipment, you should do it properly – you should not injure yourself or the plant. If the model you are using has two cutting surfaces, you can hold either way.
When you cut young plants with a flat model, it is advisable to hold it perpendicular to the branch. But if it is thick, you should do this action at an angle, which will greatly simplify the task.
The contact tool should be oriented toward the root to prevent injury to the tree or shrub. Pointing the sharp blade toward the root will not cause the stem to split.
Types and their features
An important characteristic of the garden tool in question is the mechanism of the secateurs. Its features determine how easy it is to manipulate and which plants can be trimmed.
They have two cutting surfaces similar to conventional household shears. The design allows you to make smoother cuts. But if you process thicker and denser stems, the plant tissues will be severely squeezed.
Because of this, professionals suggest choosing 15-20 mm in diameter for cutting work on flowers and young plants.
They have one convex cutting surface. The second part is shifted relative to it and acts as a stop. When a work operation is performed, the cutting element advances along the stem along the stop.
The tool should be taken so that the main part is oriented on the branch. In this case, the base will not be damaged, but the cut section will be deformed.
This option is suitable for correcting branches going into growth, as well as for grafting operations. But it is necessary to choose those products which have no gap between the blades. Otherwise get a quality cut will not work. The branch will crumple under pressure.
An anvil attachment
The action of the tool is not based on cutting, but on chopping, as in the guillotine. A sharp blade docks with a wide support – anvil and splits the stem. If the cutting blade is metal, then soft materials, such as plastic, are used to finish the stop. This way you will be able to successfully make the cut and not damage the blade when it touches the anvil.
The presence of this support pad will help to cut thick and dry branches efficiently and quickly when sanitizing trees and shrubs in the garden. Stems up to 30 mm in diameter can be affected.
With a spring that returns to its original position after pressing, thicker branches can be trimmed without much effort.
Ratchet pruners provide an even and smooth cutting surface by keeping the cutting blade itself motionless when the spring returns. But it takes considerably more time to complete green and dry branches than with other types of tools.
The mechanism is similar to a conventional bypass, but it is not powered by the mechanical movement of a person’s hand, but by battery power. It is enough to push the lever and the blades make the desired cut in a given place.
Lithium-ion battery models have the advantage. It weighs less and is small in size. The battery recharges quickly enough and holds a charge well.
As a result, you get a mobile and maneuverable unit. It can be used in the care of flowerbeds, young trees. The maximum thickness of the processed parts of the plant is 15-17 mm.
Features of the tool for different types of work
Depending on what you will be pruning in your garden, the appropriate tool is selected. After all, you may need both a sharp compact and a large pruning shear.
Florists are more suited to garden shears. The flat structure makes it easy to cut soft fabric flower stems, twine and decorative elements.
When pruning roses, on the other hand, you’ll have to work hard. There are young shoots as well as harder and drier ones on the bushes. Pruning the former requires a flat-type tool, and the latter requires a contact tool with a ratchet or power mechanism. The presence of a holder will help to avoid pricking by the thorns.
To handle vines, you need to stock up on tools of three designs:
- A flatbed unit for summer manipulation.
- A contact tool for spring and fall pruning. This type will help to gently care for the vine without splitting or injuring it. A power or ratchet mechanism is desirable.
- Lopper for thick old stems.
Perennial shrubs should be trimmed with a contact-type attachment. A flat telescopic pruning shear is useful for shaped pruning.
Shape the crown of trees is better with loppers, which lend themselves to thicker wood. Thanks to the planar type of construction, it is easy to cut live branches, but dry branches are cut with a contact model. It is advisable to have a power component. Secateurs with long handles will help to reach even to the crown.
How to choose the right one
When selecting a comfortable and quality model, pay attention to such factors:
The condition of the blade and its level of sharpening. Quality specimens are made of hardened type steel. They resist corrosion and do not require sharpening for a long time.
The ratchet mechanism helps alleviate effort and reduce fatigue because it begins to act when the pressure level on the material is lowered.
The material from which the handles are made determines the ergonomics of the tool. It is not recommended to take products with holders made of pure plastic. It is necessary to have rubberized inserts.
Good practice is for tools with polyamide handles that have fiberglass reinforcements, as well as aluminum handles with rubber overlays.
A pivoting lower handle mechanism reduces hand friction and reduces stress while working.
The quality of the springs determines the ease of blade movement. Compared to the spiral type, ribbon springs are considered to be more successful. The return spring is characterized by greater durability.
Teflon treatment or a chrome layer on the blades eliminates the phenomenon of sticking due to juice or other contaminants getting on them.
Brand and manufacturer. According to this parameter you can choose any variant you like. But such proven brands as RACO, Gardena, Fiskars, Felco, Brigadier, ARS, Centroinstrument, Berger are popular.
Using a garden tool makes life much easier for any experienced or novice gardener. Trimming trees and shrubs is not an easy task. Therefore, you will definitely need this efficient and productive helper when pruning plants regularly or in the process of shaping hedges.
Photo of a garden pruning shear