5 Simple Tips on How To Give Your Pruning Tools Care and Maintenance
Part of conventional tree pruning is using the proper tools. Buying shears and pruners is one of the first steps you need to take before you can start trimming or shaping your trees and shrubs. Luckily, you can easily find these tools at your local stores. They are relatively cheap and will do the job properly for quite a long time. However, with constant use, your pruning tools are bound to experience natural wear. After some time, they might also start carrying spores and diseases, turning into hazards to your plants and whoever is handling them. To protect your investment and reduce the chances of spreading weed seeds or soil-borne pathogens around your yard, proper tools care, and maintenance is highly warranted. Here are a few simple tips on how to give your pruning tools care and maintenance to make sure your pruners will stay sharp, clean, and safe for use.
1. Clean Your Tools After Each Use
Simply hosing down and wiping your pruners with a fresh rag can go a long way when it comes to pruner maintenance. After trimming your trees and shrubs, take a few minutes to clean your trimming tools to ensure they are always in their best shape and ready for the next use. Keep a stack of rags, a stiff brush, soap, scrubby pad, and steel wool dedicated especially for cleaning your pruning tools and put them near all your gardening gear. Right after cleaning, you should also make sure they are dry and preferably hanging on a wall. Never leave them lying around in moist places to prevent rust from taking over. After every use, clean them with soapy water, dry them thoroughly with a clean rag, and hang them dry in your tool shed, garage, or any covered area.
If you haven’t used your tools for a while and notice rust on its blades, you can try cleaning garden tools with vinegar. Soak the tool overnight in a mixture made with equal parts of water and vinegar. Then, in a circular motion, rub the rust off with a ball of steel wool, brush, or a crumpled-up piece of tin foil. This tool maintenance technique is easy, cheap, and proven effective.
2. Oil Your Pruners Regularly
After cleaning your pruning shears or secateurs, you should also drip a little bit of oil on its pivot joints and blades. This will act as a lubricant that will make your tools easier to use. It is also an essential part of how to keep garden tools from rusting. You can use a special lubricant made for gardening tools, but vegetable oil cooking spray will suffice. Oiling your pruners regularly after each use can ensure the blades are in tip-top shape.
3. Do A Seasonal Deep Clean
Although cleaning after each use is a good practice in tool care, you can still do more for better results. A seasonal deep clean can help make sure your tools are more thoroughly cleaned. To do this, unscrew the nuts that your pruners together and take all of the pieces apart. Use warm, soapy water and wash each part with a scrub pad or a brush. Then, rub all the parts with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and allow them to dry. When they are completely clean and dry, you can begin to reassemble them and store them back in your tool shed.
4. Sharpen Your Tools Periodically
Pruning will dull blades is a struggle for both the handler and the plant. It makes adds stress to the work and cuts branches improperly. And, when limbs are not properly cut, your plant looks ugly and becomes more susceptible to disease. At least once a year, take some time to sharpen your tools. You can do it yourself by using the right sharpening devices such as a coarse file, a sharpening stone, or a carbide knife sharpener. Just make a few passes over the cutting edge of your blade every time you think it’s starting to get dull. You can also choose to take your tools to your local tool shop or garden centre that provides this service.
5. Don’t Forget the Wooden Handles
Preferably at the end of every pruning task, carefully inspect the handles on all your pruning tools for damage. You can easily hurt yourself using a splintered handle. Sand them smooth if necessary and use a clean rag to apply finishing oil. Let the oil soak in for a few minutes. Repeat the process until the wood can no longer absorb more oil. Then, wipe off any excess oil and store them back in your tool shed. If the wooden handle of your tools has been severely damaged, don’t think twice about replacing the handle or getting a new one. The danger it could bring is just not worth the money you will save.
Follow these simple steps on proper pruning tools care and maintenance to make sure you have the best help in trimming your trees and shrubs. Always remember that keeping your pruners dirt-free and sharp helps you cut smoothly. Thus, minimising the risk of infection or disease, and makes pruning stress-free. With well-maintained tools and the right processes, pruning can even be an enjoyable task for you.
To learn more about how to how to maintain garden tools and other tree care works, talk to our experts at Tall Timbers Tree Services. Our certified arborists have the knowledge and experience to help you make sure that your trees will grow healthy, strong, and disease-free. Call us today on 0414 627 627.