Trimming And Pruning
Pruning trees and hedges is an essential maintenance operation, ensuring their optimal growth and overall health, and should therefore be undertaken regularly, involving the removal of withered stems or branches, which prevent further growth and reduce fruitfulness.
Trimming, although essentially the same type of cutting action, is associated with improving the aesthetical quality of hedges by removing longer branches and stems and making them levelled and symmetrical, a commonly desired quality, particularly in urban environments.
Trimmers and pruners are generally classed as either manual and automated. According to the exact way they are operated, they fall into three categories:
- Manual, making use of human power, also known as shears.
- Electric, either requiring a power outlet or running on battery.
- Gasoline powered.
Manual ones are relatively simple, scissor-like devices, whereas automated ones can be more complex and perform additional actions, for instance those encompassing an inner container which shreds the trimmings and reduces their volume, making it easier to dispose of them afterwards. Whereas trimming is habitually performed using shears, which are manual devices, the most common pruning implement is known as a pruning saw. Manual pruning saws are proven to grant more control over their use and less likely to injure; the best brands have devised improved blades, which combine a reduced effort and diligence with increased safety.
Pruners and trimmers should be used with caution as whatever their type, they comprise sharp blades and can result in serious injuries if mishandled. Electrical ones in particular should be stored and used with extreme caution due to their forceful cutting power, which can critically injure or maim in a split second. Telescopic shears are available as well, their long handles allowing the pruning of high branches without the use of an elevated surface. The latest motorised trimmer designs also comprise a variety of clever safety features.