Homeowner’s Guide to Tree Pruners and Loppers

Updated: Dec. 19, 2023

Pruning a tree is a lot easier if you have the right tools. Here's everything you need to know about tree pruners.

What Is a Tree Pruner?

Pruning a tree without the proper tools can be a long and complicated process involving a lot of hand cramping and a few too many trips up and down your ladder. But get yourself a tree pruner and you’ll be trimming the branches and leaves off the trees in your yard like a professional. Tree pruners are just like typical pruning tools except they are attached to much longer handles and poles that make it easy to cut branches high above your normal reach. Here’s a rundown of the different kinds of tree pruners, how they work and a look at some of the best tree pruners currently on the market.

Types of Tree Pruners

When it comes to tree pruners, there are really only two basic types: those that snip, and those that saw. Tree pruners that snip are known as “loppers” and are typically made by placing scissor-like blades on the end of a long, extendable handle. The other main kind of tree pruner is really just a saw blade attached to a pole. Sometimes those saws can be motorized, but most of the time they simply rely on good-old manual power.

Best Tree Pruners

71prygbntnl. Ac Sl1500

THANOS Extendable Anvil Loppers

  • Durable aluminum handle can be extended from 24-in. to 40-in.
  • Teflon-coated blade cuts branches up to 2-in. in diameter.
  • Ergonomic handles and lightweight design made for extended periods of use.

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Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Tree Pruner

  • Two cutting options: 15-in. zig saw and 1-1/8-in. diameter snips.
  • Pole extends from 7-ft. to 14-ft.
  • Unique oval shape reduces the amount the pole bends and flexes during use.

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81ekyd2sigl. Ac Sl1500

Sun Joe Electric Pole Chain Saw

  • 6.5 amp motor cuts through branches up to 7-1/2-in. thick.
  • Pole extends up to nearly 9-ft.
  • Saw’s “auto-oiler” automatically lubricates the chain during use.

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How to Use a Tree Pruner

Pruning a tree is an essential part of keeping a tree healthy and vibrant. Cutting away dead or weak branches allows trees to grow stronger and healthier while increasing their flower and fruit production. Plus, most of the time pruning a tree makes it look better.

To prune a tree, start by identifying which branches need to go. Make sure the ground beneath where you are pruning is cleared out so nothing gets damaged if a heavy branch falls on it. Experts recommend that you prune trees during their dormant season, and never remove more than one fourth of a tree’s branches at once. Over-pruning reduces the amount of leaves a tree has, making it harder for it to absorb all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Here’s a tree-trimming trick to remove a branch that’s out of reach.