Guide to prun­ing

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

SOME prun­ing can be done in the au­tumn to get rid of dead wood and help shape shrubs and trees for the fol­low­ing year.

Se­ca­teurs are es­sen­tial for this job and there are two types, anvil and by­pass.

The anvil works on the prin­ci­ple of a sharp blade cut­ting down on to an anvil, but the cut­ting blade needs to be kept re­ally sharp for it to be ef­fec­tive.

By­pass se­ca­teur work whereby a sharp curved blade by­passes a curved cut­ting plate, sev­er­ing a branch with­out much ef­fort.

You shouldn’t be try­ing to cut a branch with a di­am­e­ter thicker than 1cm (0.5in) with se­ca­teurs.

Any thicker and you should opt for a prun­ing saw such as the Silky, a Ja­panese blade with teeth with three ra­zor-edged facets which cut smooth and don’t leave loose edges.

There are pocket types avail­able, where the blade folds into the han­dle un­til you need to use it, which are handy for car­ry­ing around rou­tinely.

If you are hard­prun­ing over­grown shrubs, lop­pers are in­valu­able.

Some ver­sions come with ex­tend­able arms for those branches which are just out of reach, and they are ideal for cut­ting out old con­gested wood from inside thorny shrubs such as berberis and roses, but they are also good for re­duc­ing the size of large branches you have al­ready cut off with the saw, to make them more man­age­able to take to the your lo­cal re­cy­cling cen­tre.

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