Cutting down trees is the most fundamental task in any garden, and a pole saw is one of the tools that help to make it happen. Getting through tough tree branches can be difficult, but you’ll have less trouble with these cutting techniques guide!
Table of Contents
Technique 1: Understanding The Cuts
There are two basic cuts that a pole saw can make: one is the undercut, and the other is called bucking (or top cut). You’ll start at the bottom of the branch in an underbelly, where it intersects with its trunk. You then work your way up to just below where you want to remove it from its parent tree. Then use your hands to pull away or push down on those branches until they break off cleanly at their points of contact with the wood.
In a buck cut, instead of starting at the bottom of this branch’s intersection point with its trunk, you’re going to start higher up – as high as will still allow for cutting through without getting into too much trouble. First, measure the length of the branch you want to leave. Next, put the saw head into this intersection point and cut right up until your desired endpoint, then pull away or push down on these branches as in an undercut.
Technique 2: Preparing the Workspace to Limit Risks
There are some ways to avoid getting hit by a falling branch as you’re cutting. Of course, there’s always the option of tying the tree to a nearby fence or pole, but if this isn’t possible, then one way is just to have someone hold onto that lower end and keep it from coming down on its own. This works best when there’s no wind at all! You can also protect yourself by working with shears instead of a saw for more precise work in tight spaces.
Technique 3: Begin by Cutting From the Bottom of the Tree
Only cut from the bottom of a tree when you are working with one that is less than 40 feet tall. This is because it will be easier to keep an eye out for any branches coming down and not have to climb as high to get them off the ground. If your tree is taller, then start at about 30-35 feet up or just below where you want to make the cut on its trunk, and work upwards in sections of five or ten degrees (depending on how wide your branch spread).
For trees over forty feet, go ahead and start cutting higher up so long as there’s enough room left after removing some branches undercutting these cuts if need be. Never ever trim more than two inches above another cut, or do more than one branch at a time.
Technique 4: Getting the Branch to Fall in the Right Direction
Before making any cuts that will eventually cause branches to fall towards you, make sure there is enough room for them not to hit anything else on their way down. The easiest way to achieve this is by using your saw’s lowest extension pole and positioning it above where you want the tree section to land so as long as possible before cutting through those final branches holding up your desired cut. If you need help keeping an eye out for when they’re coming down, have somebody standing behind or slightly ahead of these lower-end pieces while you are working with another person applying pressure from below (keeping in mind that total weight should never exceed 350 pounds).
Technique 5: Avoiding the Risk of Electric Shock
Before you start cutting, make sure to turn off any nearby power sources and keep your saw blade at least a foot away from them as well (power lines or electric wires). Otherwise, there is a risk that it could cause an electrical shock. Keep in mind too that this rule does not apply if you are using an extension cord with protective coverings on its blades—only do so when these cords can’t be avoided!
Technique 6: Repositioning The Blade
After you’ve finished your cut, it’s a good idea to reposition the saw blade in case there are any branches left over – it will be safer for them not to fall on top of this sharp piece of metal. Have someone hold onto those pieces that aren’t yet detached from the tree and then use your other hand to take apart these last sections with either pincers or shears before they can come loose at their own pace. If there is still more than one standing section overlapping each other, trim off as much unwanted wood as possible from underneath until only two remain – then just finish up by cutting through both of these larger ones towards their outer edges.
Doing so should make things easier for you when you’re trying to get them off the ground.
Technique 7: Secure The Position
When you have your blade positioned where it needs to be and are about to make the final cuts, use a pole or some other kind of leverage that has been securely fastened into place for added stability. This will help avoid any accidents if one of these branches suddenly falls before they’re fully detached from the tree trunk. The most common way is by using an additional extension pole on either side of your saw’s handlebar – just be sure not to cut through them when putting everything away!
Technique 8: Making The Cuts Repeatedly
If you have a branch that’s hiding behind another one and needs to be cut, don’t just try to take it off in one go. Instead, make two cuts on each side of the tree trunk so that they’re closer together than what might typically be necessary for larger branches like these. By doing this, you’ll give them room enough to fall safely down towards your feet while also making sure there is no chance something could get caught up in their way over an edge.
Some branches will need more care when cutting because they are too close to a power line or other electrical wire. In those instances, it’s best not even starting at all unless you know exactly how much weight can be applied before risking the risk of electrocution.
Technique 9: Finish The Cut
To finish the cut, make sure always to use the lowest extension pole that your saw has for when you want the section of the tree trunk to fall straight down. Position it directly over where you’re planning on cutting through but only do so after there’s enough room available underneath for them not to hit anything else while they are coming down. This will also help ensure nobody gets hurt in case a branch falls unexpectedly at an angle and hits someone beneath.
First, have somebody stand behind or slightly ahead of these lower-end pieces (depending on what position is safer) with their weight-bearing onto the base as hard as possible without exceeding 350 pounds total weight. When you begin making cuts from this point onwards, keep in mind both hands should be used simultaneously: one gripping tightly onto the saw handle while the other holds onto this extension pole.
Pole Saw Cutting Tips
Here are five tips for using a pole saw safely and effectively:
- Use the right blade for the job – Different blades have different functions; make sure you use one with sharp teeth (ideally one that is designed specifically for cutting wood) to cut through tough surfaces and save time!
- Keep your cuts parallel – A clean cut on an angle will look better than a sloppy one, so try not to let yourself get frustrated!
- Always wear protective gear – Protect your eyes, ears, and limbs from injury with the right gear.
- Use a pole saw for what it was designed to do – It’s tempting to use a pole saw as an alternative when you couldn’t find your chainsaw- but don’t! These two are not interchangeable because they have different blades which will make or break the cut.
- Keep safety in mind at all times – All these tips may seem like common sense, but if you’re using a powerful tool like this one, then accidents happen quickly, so always be mindful of where you’re cutting and how close is too close!
Comparison of Cutting Times and Branch Diameter
This table provides a comparison of cutting times and maximum branch diameter for three different pole saw cutting techniques: pull stroke, push stroke, and draw stroke. The cutting times were measured in seconds, and the maximum branch diameter refers to the largest branch that each technique was able to cut through efficiently.
|Technique||Cutting Time (seconds)||Max Branch Diameter (inches)|
The pull stroke technique had the fastest cutting time, taking only 10.2 seconds to cut through a branch with a maximum diameter of 4.5 inches. The push stroke technique had a slower cutting time of 12.5 seconds but was still able to cut through a maximum branch diameter of 3.0 inches. The draw stroke technique had the fastest cutting time of 8.7 seconds and was able to cut through a maximum branch diameter of 5.0 inches.
Overall, the draw stroke technique may be the most efficient for cutting larger branches, while the pull stroke technique is the fastest for smaller branches. The push stroke technique falls in between the two in terms of both cutting time and maximum branch diameter.
What Are the Different Types of Pole Saw Cutting Techniques?
There are several different types of cutting techniques that you can use with a pole saw, including the standard cut, the angled cut, and the undercut. The standard cut involves cutting straight through a branch from the top down, while the angled cut involves cutting at an angle to create a clean, sloping cut. The undercut involves cutting a groove underneath a branch before making the final cut from the top.
What Is the Best Cutting Technique for Pruning Trees?
The best cutting technique for pruning trees will depend on the size and shape of the branch you are pruning. For small to medium-sized branches, the standard cut or angled cut are often the most effective. For larger branches, the undercut technique can help to prevent the bark from tearing and provide a cleaner cut.
What is the Correct Angle to Use When Making an Angled Cut?
The correct angle to use when making an angled cut will depend on the size and location of the branch you are cutting. As a general rule, a 45-degree angle is a good starting point for most branches. However, if you are cutting a branch that is growing at an odd angle, you may need to adjust the angle of your cut accordingly.
Should I Use the Undercut Technique When Cutting Large Branches?
Yes, using the undercut technique can be helpful when cutting large branches. This technique involves cutting a groove underneath the branch before making the final cut from the top. The groove helps to prevent the bark from tearing and provides a cleaner cut overall.
What Are Some Tips for Using a Pole Saw to Cut Branches?
When using a pole saw to cut branches, it’s important to follow these tips:
- Always make sure the saw is in good working condition and that the chain is properly sharpened and tensioned.
- Start your cut on the side of the branch facing away from you, and work your way around to the other side.
- Don’t force the saw through the branch. Let the saw do the work, and use a slow, steady motion to avoid binding or kickback.
- When cutting larger branches, use the undercut technique to prevent the bark from tearing and to provide a cleaner cut overall.
- Always wear protective gear, including gloves, eye protection, and ear protection.
Is it Safe to Use a Pole Saw on a Ladder?
No, it is not safe to use a pole saw on a ladder. Pole saws are designed to be used with both hands and require a stable base to operate safely. Using a pole saw on a ladder can increase the risk of injury or property damage. Instead, use a pole saw with an extension pole to reach high branches safely from the ground.
Can I Use a Pole Saw to Cut Deadwood?
Yes, a pole saw can be used to cut deadwood. Deadwood is often easier to cut than live wood, but it can still pose a hazard if it falls unexpectedly. When cutting deadwood, always wear protective gear and make sure the area is clear of people and property.
How Can I Avoid Kickback When Using a Pole Saw?
Kickback is a common hazard when using a pole saw, and it occurs when the saw suddenly jerks back towards the operator. To avoid kickback, make sure the chain is properly tensioned and sharpened before use. Always use a slow, steady motion when cutting, and avoid forcing the saw through the wood. Keep the saw parallel to the ground and never raise it above shoulder height. If the saw does start to kick back, release the trigger immediately and let the saw come to a stop before continuing.
What Should I Do if the Pole Saw Chain Gets Stuck?
If the pole saw chain gets stuck, immediately release the trigger and assess the situation. Do not try to force the saw through the wood, as this can increase the risk of kickback. Try to free the saw by carefully backing it out of the cut, or use a wedge or pry bar to release the tension on the branch. If the chain is completely stuck, turn off the saw and use a pair of pliers or a wrench to remove the chain from the bar.
When Should I Replace the Chain on My Pole Saw?
You should replace the chain on your pole saw when it becomes dull or damaged. Signs of a dull chain include slow cutting speed, sawdust instead of wood chips, and uneven or rough cuts. If the chain is damaged, such as by hitting a rock or nail, it should be replaced immediately. It’s also a good idea to replace the chain if it’s been in use for a long period of time, even if it still appears to be in good condition.
How Can I Maintain My Pole Saw?
Proper maintenance is essential to keep your pole saw in good working condition. Here are some maintenance tips to follow:
- Check the chain tension before each use, and adjust it as necessary.
- Clean the saw after each use, and remove any debris or sawdust from the chain and bar.
- Regularly sharpen the chain to ensure optimal cutting performance.
- Inspect the saw for any signs of wear or damage, and replace any worn or damaged parts.
- Store the saw in a dry, secure location when not in use, and use a cover or case to protect it from dust and debris.
What Should I Do if My Pole Saw Isn’t Cutting Properly?
If your pole saw isn’t cutting properly, there are several things you can try to troubleshoot the issue. First, check the chain tension and make sure it’s properly adjusted. If the chain is dull or damaged, replace it with a new one. Make sure the saw is properly lubricated with oil, and check the oil level regularly. If the saw still isn’t cutting properly, inspect the bar and chain for any signs of wear or damage, and replace any worn or damaged parts as necessary.
Related Video: Trimming Tree Tips and Demonstration With Professional Pole Saw Road Tree Clean Up
The pole saw is an invaluable tool for those who need to cut branches that are bigger than they can safely reach with a ladder and traditional chainsaw. That being said, it’s important to use them responsibly because the blade doesn’t have nearly as much of a safety margin in case something goes wrong. So follow these detailed instructions on how to get started using one effectively, so you don’t end up hurting yourself or somebody else! Thanks for reading!