Do you have a pair of pruners in your garden shed? Pruners are one of the tools I find I use most throughout the gardening season. From removing dead wood in the winter, to pruning shrubs in the spring and fall, to dead heading flowering shrubs and perennials in the summer months, it is not often I venture into the garden without my pruners.
Now, it is important to understand that there are two distinct types of pruners available: bypass pruners and anvil pruners. Bypass pruners work very much like a pair of scissors. Bypass pruners have two blades that are curved that “pass by” each other when an object is cut. Anvil pruners on the other hand have one blade and a flat surface that the blade “chops” against, much like a knife on a cutting board. There are pros and cons to both, however my personal recommendation is to go with bypass pruners as there is less damage to the plant itself when it s cut.
It is important to keep your pruners sharp and clean. When pruning plants that are diseased or infected with a pest it is best to sterilize the pruners before cutting anything else. This can be done using a disinfecting wipe such as a Lysol wipe or by dipping the blades in a solution of bleach and water at a ratio if 1:9. Keeping your pruners sharp will also ensure clean cuts, and help prevent the wood/stems from breaking while pruning.
When buying pruners but ones that fit comfortably in your and and are a comfortable weight. Some pruners will have blades that can be replaced if the blades become damaged, others will not. You want to find something that is comfortable for you and in your budget. My personal preference are Felco pruners, however there are many other companies that make great pruners including Fiskars and Corona.
Pruning can be a daunting task, but a good set of pruners can make it a lot easier! Enjoy!
Images Courtesy of Olfiika