Buying Guide

Best Pruning Tools for Your Plants


There are three basic pruners:

  • Anvil Pruners. Features a single straight blade that uses a splitting action to cut down on a stem or branch.
  • Ratchet Pruners. Similar to anvil pruners, but features a mechanism that cuts in stages. Works well for people who have problems with wrist strain.
  • Bypass Pruners. Acts like scissors with two curved blades that make a nice, clean cut. Works well on green and growing stems.

Pruning Tips

  • Cut diseased stems back to where the healthy wood starts
  • Disinfect the blade between cuts with bleach and water when pruning diseased plants
  • First cut off dead branches at the base when cutting shrubs or trees
  • Cut just above the leaf bud on the outside of shrub branches
  • Get rid of branches growing at narrow angles to main, vertical branches

When to Prune

  • Prune shrubs that flower in the springtime after the blooms fade off
  • Prune shrubs that flower in the summer during spring
  • Prune rosebushes after the last spring frost
  • Remove dead wood from trees in the summer
  • Pruning a tree’s form is best done after leaves fall
Tool Selection

Consult the chart below to learn about available tool types and their applications:

Comparison of Tool Types
Description Recommended For
Shears - Fiskars - Floral Scissors & Snips Anvil Pruner Dead twigs and branches Diameters of 5/8" or less Examples: rosebushes, hydrangea, butterfly bushes
floral scissors & snips Bypass Pruner Live stems and branches Diameters of 5/8" or less Examples: rosebushes, raspberry bushes, lilacs, snipping flowers or herbs
hedge shears Hedge Shears Hedges and small shrubs, evergreens, deadheading perennials Diameters of 2-1/4" or less Examples: any kind of hedge shrub
loppers Lopper Medium to large branches Diameters of 2-1/2" or less Examples: fruit trees, vines, nut trees
cordless pole saws Pole Pruner Dead wood out of trees Diameters of 1-1/4" or less Examples: any kind of tree
pruning saws Pruning Saw Medium to large low-hanging branches Diameters of 1-1/2" or more Examples: any kind of large shrub or tree
tree pruners Tree Pruner Smaller tree branches -- eliminates need for ladder Diameters of 1-1/4" or less Examples: any kind of tree
  • Grass Shears. Look like heavy-duty scissors and are used to trim grass around trees, flower beds and shrubbery.
  • Pruning Saw Blades. Come with different style blades to help attack a wide range of different branches.
  • Power Shears. Operate using gas or electricity and make hedge trimming easier and quicker.