Puning is essential to ensure the healthy growth and appearance of trees and shrubs. One crucial aspect of this practice is using the right tools. You must purchase quality shears and pruners before trimming or shaping your plants. Fortunately, these tools are readily available at local stores and are relatively inexpensive, providing excellent value for their cost.
However, frequent use of pruning tools will inevitably experience natural wear and tear. Over time, they can also become contaminated with spores and diseases, posing a risk to your plants and anyone handling them. Giving your pruning tools proper care and maintenance is essential to reduce the risk of spreading weed seeds or soil-borne pathogens in your yard.
What Are the Benefits of Pruning Tools and Maintenance?
Regular maintenance of pruning tools can not only improve their lifespan but also help to promote healthy trees, improve their appearance and eliminate the risk of injury. Additionally, taking the time to care for your pruning tools properly can significantly impact the health and safety of the trees. Let’s take a few such benefits of maintaining pruning tools into consideration:
Taking care of and maintaining your tools can help you to extend their lifespan and saves a considerable amount of money in the long run. This can include cleaning, sharpening, and oiling tools as required.
Reduces Risk of Injury
If you maintain your tools properly, it will reduce their chances of malfunctioning or breaking, which also reduces the risk of injury. You can do this by inspecting the tools for damage or wear before each use and replacing or repairing the damaged parts.
Improves Tool Performance
If you take care of the pruning tools effectively, it will enhance their performance, which will ultimately make the pruning task easier and more efficient. This will also reduce the effort required to prune effectively. Doing this will also help you manage the trees’ health and growth effectively.
How To Give Your Pruning Tools Care and Maintenance
Here are some useful tips on how to keep your pruning tools in good condition, ensuring that they stay sharp, clean, and safe for use.
1. Clean Your Tools After Each Use
Regular maintenance of your pruning tool is essential to ensure they are always in optimal condition. Simply hosing down and wiping them with a fresh rag after trimming your trees and shrubs can extend their lifespan. To simplify this task, keep dedicated cleaning tools nearby, such as rags, a stiff brush, soap, a scrubby pad, and steel wool.
After cleaning, it’s crucial to ensure your pruning tools are dry and stored in a dry place. Leaving them in moist places can lead to rust buildup, affecting their performance and longevity.
If you notice rust on your pruner’s blades, you can use vinegar to clean them effectively. Add equal water and vinegar, and soak the tools overnight. Then, use steel wool, a brush, or a crumpled-up piece of tin foil to rub off the rust in a circular motion. This is one of the most inexpensive and effective for maintaining your pruning tools.
2. Oil Your Pruners Regularly
Regular oiling is one of the most critical steps in maintaining your gardening tools. Once you have cleaned your pruning shears or secateurs, applying oil to the pivot joints and blades is important. This will act as a lubricant and make your tools easier to use while also helping to prevent rust from forming. You can use a specialised lubricant or vegetable oil cooking spray for gardening tools. Regularly oiling your pruners after each use ensures the blades are in excellent condition and ready for your next task.
3. Do A Seasonal Deep Clean
Regular cleaning of tools is a great practice, but to ensure optimal results, it is recommended to perform a deep cleaning periodically. A seasonal deep cleaning will ensure your tools are thoroughly cleaned and well-maintained. To perform this, simply disassemble your pruners by unscrewing the nuts that hold them together. Next, wash each part thoroughly with warm, soapy water using a scrub pad or brush. After washing, sanitise all the pieces by rubbing them with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and then allow them to air dry completely. Once dry, reassemble your tools and store them in your shed. With a little extra effort, your tools will last longer and work better for you.
4. Sharpen Your Tools Periodically
Using a pruner with dull blades can make your work 2x harder. Additionally, dull blades can cause stress and damage to the plant, resulting in improper cuts that leave the plant vulnerable to disease. To keep your tools in good condition and make your pruning tasks more efficient, it is recommended to sharpen your tools at least once a year. You can sharpen your tools using appropriate devices, such as a coarse file, sharpening stone, or carbide knife sharpener. Simply make a few passes over the cutting edge of the blade when it starts to become dull. Alternatively, you can take your tools to a local tool shop or garden centre that offers sharpening services.
5. Don’t Forget the Wooden Handles
Inspecting the handles of your pruning tools for damage after each pruning task is important. Using a tool with a splintered or damaged handle can result in injury. If you notice any sign of damage, sand the handle smoothly and apply finishing oil using a clean rag. Let the oil soak in for a few minutes; repeat the process until the wood can no longer absorb the oil. Finally, wipe off any excess oil and store the tool back in your tool shed. However, if the wooden handle of your tool is severely damaged, it is better to replace it with a new one.
Follow these simple steps to ensure proper care and maintenance of your pruning tools, which will help you effectively trim your trees and shrubs. Always keep in mind that clean and sharp tools make for smoother cuts, minimizing the risk of infection or disease and making pruning a stress-free task. With well-maintained tools and proper techniques, pruning can even become an enjoyable experience for you.
To learn more about 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 ensure that your trees will grow healthy, strong, and disease-free. Call us today on 0414 627 627.