How to Cut Branches from a Tall Tree

Let me guess, a thick branch that is high from the ground needs to get cut right away.

And you’ve given a thought about playing the game with your pruning saw, but understood that it can’t help you regarding this matter (unless you’re not planning to use a ladder).

This is when a pole saw will emerge as a friend of yours. But wait, that new friend of yours can call in danger if not used properly, you know that?

This piece is intended to teach you how to use a pole saw properly, try to cut a tall tree branch, and keep yourself safe in the process.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, this process is not a kids’ game, it can get dangerous.

The cut branch can fall on you, and the power line around can because accidents and other risks are involved. So to start off, we should go through the cautions first, don’t u think?

Cautions About Using a Pole Saw

You should never work on a branch having any part above a power line, sit this one out, and call in a professional in these cases.

Using pole saws is a pretty slow and tiring process, especially with extensions to get above 8 feet. Pole saws are likely to be used on limbs up to 1.5-2 inches thick.

Do not attempt to fell branches overhead, as I guess you are not too familiar with this!

You should always have safety gear on, a helmet is a must (This is the best to have), even better if you can put on other gears.

How to Cut Branches from a Tall Tree?

Okay, it’s time to get into the main process. I hope you’ve made sure that there are no risks involved, the limb is not going to fall on you, no electric wires are involved, and you’ve safety gear on.

Clear a large work area first

There should be nothing in the area, or close to the area where the branch is likely to fall. You also need to have a plan to move quickly and safely in the area if anything goes wrong.

Plan the cut

Firstly, locate the branch collar (where the branch joins the stem). Cut the lower branches before moving on to higher branches, if you are to cut both branches.

Position The Saw

You need to move and place the saw outside the branch collar. Bring the pole saw to a vertical position using both your hands, pause a little bit rest its weight on the branch, and now reposition it to the cutting spot.

The saw should be positioned at an angle with the branch, the more angled it will be, the easier it’ll be for you to cut it.

And the lengthier the pole is, means the farther you can go horizontally from the branch, it’ll be more angled and easier to cut for you. So if you have any option to lengthen the pole, do it.

Position yourself

You want to stand in a place where the end of the pole should be at your chest level.

So, find yourself a position where the end of the pole would be at your chest level and the saw would be positioned as angled as possible to the branch.

Start the strokes

Make the first strokes slowly, and try to make a groove. Cut perpendicular so that primary strokes bite as much as possible.

The groove will guide you in the coming faster strokes. Expect the saw to slip sideways at early strokes, more if the branch is sloped.

When this happens, give a little pause, don’t keep stroking which goes nowhere, wasting your energy. Rather stop, reposition, and start stroking again.

Keep stroking

Once the saw is positioned well in the groove you may increase your stroke speed for deeper cuts. Pole saws cut on the pull strokes to get helped by gravity.

Don’t take your eyes off while stroking, especially when it’s about to get cut and fall.

Though if you took my earlier suggestions, you’ll not be standing in a position where it might fall upon you, still, be safe and aware enough to move.

Hooray, it’s done

Pat yourself on the back. If anything unpleasant didn’t happen, the branch is supposed to get cut down. Keep on replicating the process for the rest of the branches.

Before moving to the next branch, clean up the fallen limb and work area to make sure not to get tripped by it.

Some More Tips

The better you position yourself, the less tiring it would be to cut the branch. Positioning is important. If the pole is adjustable, try to adjust it to the best comfortable position.

Try to it in full daylight. I’ll suggest doing it anytime from 10 am - 4 pm. The time just before the afternoon is great I think, as that time is not too hot, the airflow is there along with full daylight.

You want to have a Sharp saw to make the process not too tiresome.

Remember not to cut the collar. Make a superficial cut just outside the branch collar but do not cut into the branch collar.

It’s not a good practice to prune more than 1/4th of a tree’s living branch at the same time. Try not to top the crown as it can harm the growth of the tree.

Last but not least, Do NOT stand under the branch while removing branches to avoid falling on you.

Final Word

So, there you have it. I hope by following these step-by-step instructions on how to cut branches from a tall tree, you can remove the unwanted branches nicely and safely.

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