Winter is pruning time!
Keep your pruning shears sharp
He repairs and sharpens about 6 000 pairs of pruning shears a year for farmers from Limpopo to Citrusdal. Meet Danie Malan, a citrus farmer from Patensie.
• Why is maintenance important? Clean, sharp shears result in a clean, smooth pruning wound that heals quickly. This helps prevent fungal diseases. A smooth, sharp blade also cuts easily through the wood and minimises the pressure on your hand. CLEAN Every time you’ve used them, clean your shears: remove dry sap with steel wool or a wire brush, wash them with hot water and soap, and use sandpaper to shine them so they’ll glide through the wood next time you use them. SHARP The blade must be sharpened regularly with a whetstone or a good file. It’s important to sharpen it from one side only. GREASE Put a drop of oil on the bolt and blade after cleaning. The central bolt should be set accurately – not too loose and not too tight. • Favourite pruning shears? Felco is the Rolls-Royce of pruning shears. A pair could cost you more than R500, but it will serve you for up to 20 years if you take good care of it. Pruning shears shouldn’t have too many fiddly bits that can break. Carpa is my second choice. These shears cost about R100 and don’t break easily. If they do, they can be repaired. Contact 072 262 9822