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A woman prunes a hedge with a pair of large secateurs.
Pruning plants is an important part of garden maintenance. It keeps them in shape, healthy and promotes growth. Because plants respond to different techniques, you'll need a few tools in your kit. Here's our top five to get you started.

 

Secateurs

Secateurs are the workhorse of your tool kit. They are your best friend for pruning roses, trimming, deadheading and general all-round use. The sharper the secateurs, the cleaner the cut which is a good tip to keep in mind when choosing your secateurs. A bypass blade style as well as gear technology, helps to cut through tough stems.

Using secateurs to cut a branch.

Loppers

Often defined as secateurs with long handles, loppers are handy to reach up higher to trim larger branches and dead wood.  When buying yours, look for models with gears such as the Fiskars PowerGear™  range. The gears help with the work by multiplying leverage capacity. They also help optimise cutting power where the branch is the thickest.

Using loppers to prune a tree

Tree pruners

For even higher branches, tree pruners are essential. With an extension pole and other accessories, they enable pruning and trimming branches that are high, while allowing the user to keep both feet in a comfortable, safe position on the ground.  This eliminates the pains and strains associated with constantly bending and kneeling.

A woman using a tree pruner to cut off a brand.

Hedge shears

Hedge shears are designed to cut long, straight edges. If you've got a hedge, these are ideal trimming tools. They are also perfect for cutting back clumps of ornamental grasses. When buying hedge shears look for a product that's made to last and has quality, ground steel blades. Again, gear technology is also a good addition as the gears help do more of the work for you.

Using hedge shears to prune a hedge

Pruning saw

pruning saw is ideal for cutting larger branches up to 10cm in diameter. These sharp little saws are designed to cut on both the pull and push stroke, to help maximise your effort. Be sure to keep your saw sharp and clean for the best results. 

Using a pruning saw to cut off a branch

Tool maintenance

Keeping your tools in top condition will really pay off in the long run. Your blades need to be sharp to produce the cleanest cuts that don't damage plant tissue and cause disease. If you're trimming diseased plants, don't forget to sanitise between cuts. Dip them in a product like bleach and be sure to clean them with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Lastly, always clean the blades after use and remove any sap or leaf residue

Build your pruning kit

 Check out your local Bunnings to get your pruning, trimming and cutting garden essentials today. 

 

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.