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How to Trim Trees with a Pole Saw – Expert Tips to Use

Are you willing to give your garden a new look but are not sure where to start? If you are considering cutting branches far from your reach, then a pole saw is the best option for you since it is easier to cut and prune those unwanted branches from your garden. But, of course, you can use a ladder and a chainsaw instead if you are not comfortable or don’t have a complete knowledge on how to use a pole saw. Still, it is always risky to climb up a ladder along with a chainsaw and prune the branches of a tree because there is always a risk of losing your balance and falling off the ladder.

A pole saw is always a convenient option because it is made using a long pole and a saw for your ease. However, one should take required precautionary measures before using a pole saw. You should be ready with a few items like eye protectors, face masks, gloves, a hard hat, and boots for your safety.

How to Use a Pole Saw?

Though there are different pole saw cutting techniques, it is essential to choose the right method that is safe and easy for us. That is why here is a step-by-step guide to use pole saw for cutting limbs correctly.

Step 1: Take Necessary Precautions

The first and foremost thing you need to do is take precautionary measures before commencing the pruning of branches. The most basic thing you can do is read and understand the manual thoroughly. After prepping, wear a hard hat, a face mask, eye protectors, gloves, safety boots, and all the other protective equipment for your safety.

Step 2: Clear Out the Working Area

The next thing you can do is make sure that no one is around you while you are preparing to prune the tree branches. You also want to make sure that there is nothing on the ground, so when you are concentrating on the branches, you do not trip because of anything on the ground. You will also need to anticipate where the debris will fall, and if you are a beginner at this, you should clear out a bigger area for your safety and quick mobility. Also, you should check on the weather to ensure that it is not too dry or too rainy. Moreover, you want to make sure that everything around is visible.

Step 3: Plan where you want to cut

You need to plan which part of the tree you are supposed to cut to adjust yourself accordingly. Do not take impulsive decisions once you start cutting because it can become a hazard if you do not take calculative decisions. Instead, plan to cut out the thin branches first to get into the practice. If you start with the thick branches first, you might get injured if any branch falls in the wrong direction.

Step 4: Position Yourself

Do not stand right below the targeted limb or branch as it might fall onto you. Instead, stand away on the side of the branch to reduce your chances of injury. You also want to make sure to hold the end of your pole saw at your chest level to maintain its balance. To put it in another way, make sure to stand at a side of the targeted branch and position the end of your pole saw at an angle where it is less likely to fall. This will ensure your safety and help you effectively cut the branches and limbs.

Step 5: Position Pole Saw

Position your pole limb cutter saw in a vertical position first. Then position it to the side of the branch where you are supposed to cut and pause for a moment to make sure that you can balance the weight of the pole saw. Once you have controlled the weight of the pole saw, point your saw towards the branch you need to cut.

Step 6: First, Cut the Lower Branches

It is better to target the lower branches first since that will make a clear path for you to cut the higher branches. Hence, ensure that you go for the higher branches first because you could accidentally cut the lower branches and injure yourself. Moreover, this might pose a threat to you because the branch might fall in unanticipated places, and you could get hurt.

Step 7: Create a Groove in the Branch

Start cutting the targeted branch slowly at first. Make sure that the movement is slow and controlled to create a groove in the branch. The main purpose of going slow is to make sure that the branches are cut properly because a fast stroke will make the blade slip around and make the process more difficult. Once you create a groove into the branch, it will be easier to make faster strokes later.

Step 8: Finish the Process

Once your first grooves bite in, you can increase the speed of the stroke. Keep an eye on the branch to ensure it does not fall in unpredictable directions. Even though you might be standing in a different direction to protect yourself, the branches do not always fall in the anticipated places. Therefore make sure to move out of the way to dodge the falling branch if necessary.

Step 9: Clean up the area

Once the branch falls off the tree, make sure to clean up the area so that you can start pruning the second branch. You don’t want to stumble and fall due to other branches on the ground.

Tips to Follow while Using a Pole Saw

  • When using a tree pole saw, make sure both your feet are firmly balanced on the ground. You do not want to lose your balance while cutting branches. Hence, it is necessary to have proper coordination between your feet and your hands while cutting a branch to avoid risks.
  • Read the manual well and make sure you use protective equipment to not harm yourself. Make sure to take off all your accessories and tie your hair up if it is long to avoid any hassle while cutting the branches of a tree.
  • Cut only in broad daylight to ensure that the branches are visible to you. You do not want to injure yourself by choosing when the branches are not visible to avoid any risk.
  • Never use your tree limb cutter in rainy weather, especially if you use an electric pole saw.
  • Try to adjust your pole saw at an angle of 45 degrees for your safety. This will ensure that you are at a safe distance from the branch you want to cut.
  • Decide where you should stand beforehand so that the branch does not directly fall overhead.

What is a Pole Saw used for?

A pole saw is commonly used for cutting branches, but it can also be used to cut vines. It is advised that the branches of a tree should not be more than 8 inches thick to ensure safety. It is also used to cut the loosely hanging limbs on trees after a storm.

Here are some of the most common pole saw uses:


A pole saw is most commonly used for trimming trees. Tree trimming refers to the cutting of unwanted limbs of trees. These branches can be dying or getting in the way of power lines. Trimming is also done to remove the damaged limbs after a storm. Therefore, it becomes necessary to cut such limbs, and a pole saw can easily do this. Some people also cut the limbs that block sunlight using a pole saw.


Most people often confuse trimming with pruning or vice versa. While trimming is done to remove dead limbs or branches, pruning is done to ensure the healthy growth of trees. Pruning is more difficult than trimming because it requires proper and strategic planning. It is done annually to keep trees healthy throughout the year.

Cutting Branches or Bush Clearing

A pole saw can easily be used to cut the thick branches of a tree or for clearing bushes. You don’t need to have a special bush or branch trimmer to trim bushes or branches of a tree. Branches below 6 feet can easily be cut with the help of a pole saw, but if the branches are above 6 feet, it is better to call a professional arborist for that.


1. Can you use a pole saw on a ladder?

Ans: The whole purpose of a pole saw is to help you cut a branch effortlessly while standing on the ground. One can climb up a ladder to cut the branches of a tree, but it is risky to do so. If the branch you want to cut is too high, you should call a professional arborist for assistance.

2. How high can a pole saw reach?

Ans: It depends on the brand. Some brands claim that their pole saw reaches between 10 to 12 feet, while others claim their pole saw reaches up to 8 feet. It also depends upon the height of the person using it. Most brands assume that the person holding a pole saw is 6 feet tall. Therefore, it is advised to do your research and buy a pole saw according to your height.

3. How thick can a pole saw cut?

Ans: It depends on the size of the saw. Usually, a pole saw can cut branches 8 to 12 inches thick. Gas-powered pole saws are more powerful than normal ones as they cut thicker branches; however, they are only used by professionals. Hence, use it only under the guidance of a professional.

4. Are pole saws dangerous?

Ans: Pole saws are pretty dangerous to use since they have various risks. These dangers include loss of balance, branches falling in unpredictable directions, or branches falling from a greater height. Still, you can also take certain precautions to prevent these dangers. Moreover, don’t cut branches higher than six feet to ensure your safety.


There is always a difference between using the device and using it correctly. Hope our information is guided through the right way to use a pole saw. From now on, you don’t need to be afraid of clearing the overgrown bush or cutting the unwanted tree branch just because you are intimidated by the pole saw. Follow the steps mentioned above with the tips and enjoy gardening.