Choosing and Using The Correct Garden Shears

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Garden shears come in many shapes, designs and forms – whether that be pruning shears, hedge shears, lopping shears or pole pruners they all have their own very important jobs. However, although they come in a variety of different in shapes and sizes they have the same general rules for use.

They are used for pruning plants, shrubs and trees, removing unnecessary foliage and re-shaping shrubs and hedges. It is extremely important that you choose the pair that best fits your hand. Beginners often make the mistake of rushing out to buy the most expensive pair but this isn’t always the best option. Remember to shop around and look for something that is going to suit your needs, and also be comfortable to use.

Shears, also widely referred to as ‘clippers’ are essential for the care and upkeep of your garden, It is therefore essential that you choose a strong and sturdy pair. Choose carefully and the shears you buy will last you for many happy gardening years!

As a beginner it can sometimes seem daunting to cut back a tree or plant, but remember if you prune your plants properly they will grow back much quicker and in better condition!

Pruning covers everything from cutting off dead branches and leaves to removing other unwanted parts of the plant.

When to cut back and prune plants depends what type they are, the majority of trees will need to be pruned during Autumn and Winter which is when growth is slowed or even stopped, whereas shrubs with spring blooming times should only be cut back after the flowers have faded and shrubs that bloom in the summer should be pruned early spring.

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Here is a general guide to the types of garden shears and their uses:

Hand pruners – Used for cutting stems.

Pruning saws – Remove stems, which cannot be cut with hand pruners, or lopping shears.

Pruning Shears – These are used for shearing branches about 1 inch diameter

Lopping Shears – Handle branches ranging from 1/2 inch up to 2 inches in diameter.

Pole pruners – These clippers on a pole can reach branches around 15 feet off the ground

Chain saws (use with caution!) – For branches exceeding 3 inches in diameter, the correct safety gear is essential, if in doubt consult an expert.