What I use
I'm often asked what pruning tools I use myself. As I describe in my pruning paper (DOWNLOAD) I prune my trees a little and often using hand tools. ladders and a harness. Contractors working on flat land can justify purchasing mechanical lifts but I do all my tree work myself and on all sorts of slopes, along creeks and other difficult sites.
I'm talking with some of my suppliers to see if I can pass on the tools and equipment I use to you. On this site I'll try and get the best prices for the equipment I like. If you have any special requests I'll see if I can help.
Long handled pruning loppers
For general sawlog stem pruning I use long-handled loppers and carry a folding saw on my hip for the odd large branch. You can get the folding saws easily enough but coosing a good pair of loppers is more tricky. I've bought lots over the last 20 years of most shapes and sizes including by-pass and anvil types. I've broken a few and left others to rust in the shed. My advice: don't fall for the sales-talk of the side-show salesmen - get a good pair of loppers that work.
Of all the long-handled pruners that are available I've used I've settle on the Tucano 80cm anvil pruners. They are light, strong and work for me.
The Otway Agroforestry Network can provide the LISAM 80cm anvil loppers for $160 (incl GST, ex Melb). I can post these through the mail (POA)
Electric Pruners (Electrocoup - French)
I admit it. I have succumbed in my old age and have purchased a set of electic pruning gear. See Review. You can purchase these from a number of suppliers but if you want me to organise a sale I'm happy to do so. I can arrange the equipment to be sent directly to you by the importer. I can also provide a discount of 10% off the RRP for Master TreeGrowers and subscribers to the Australian Agroforestry Magazine.
Ladders are tricky. We've done some work on ladder design but due to the Australian Standards it is impractical to expect we can produce an approved ladder at a reasonable price. I'm looking into some options but in the mean time you might be best to adapt a light ladder with parrallel rails for vertical use (please take care not to weaken the ladder in the process). You need to be able to tie the ladder firmly to the tree at one or two points as you climb up and the ladder must be held out from the tree so it is easy to climb. NOTE: you must be harnessed to the tree before leaving the ground. If you are a supplier of a ladder like this I would love to hear from you.
The ladder shown below comes in 3m sections and I've joined 2 together for this demonstration.
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