How To Cut Tree Limbs That Are Too High To Reach

How to cut tree limbs that are too high to reach. Trees are useful to the environment and give a beautiful view.

Tree limbs that are located high above the ground can pose a challenge when it comes to maintenance or removal.

However, with the right tools, techniques, and safety precautions, it is possible to effectively cut tree limbs that are too high to reach.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to safely accomplish this task, ensuring the well-being of both the tree and the person performing the cut.

To keep them having a good view, they require maintenance from time to time.

Read on how yo can get rid of a tree stump in your backyard.

Some trees tend to grow very fast, and after some time, they require pruning to keep them in the right shape and structure.

Pruning also helps some trees to grow faster and healthy.

However, some of the limbs or branches are too high to reach, making it challenging to cut them.

Be careful to avoid bark tearing which may take long to heal. (source)

What Is a Tree Limb?

A tree limb is a large division growing from a tree trunk. It’s mostly estimated to be at least 4 inches larger than a standard branch, and its functions are the same as that of the branches, even though sometimes it may take the roles of a trunk in some trees.

Ways On How To Cut Tree Limbs That Are Too High To Reach

1. Use a Pole Saw

I would recommend Husqvarna 18 Inch 450e II Gas Chainsaw. 

If the limb you want to cut is larger than 1 and a half inches but not more than 2 inches, you will have to use a pole saw to step on.

Also read on how to hang a tree swing on an angled branch

There is both a manual pole saw and battery-electric or gas-powered saw.

A manual pole saw can be a bit hard to use on higher heights since the pole flexes with every stroke that absorbs some of your efforts.

A manual saw is best if used to cut next to the trunk but not at the end or middle of the limb.

Set the blade at the point you want to cut and make the initial pull cut that will cut a groove while you pull the pole down.

If you notice that the limb has started moving downwards, try cutting faster to avoid the cut from tearing the tree trunk.

You can try undercut even though it can be a bit tricky, but the best part is that it reduces the chances of bark tear.

Electric, gas, or battery-powered pole saw is either in a fixed-length pole or a telescoping pole.

Their lengths mostly range from 12- 14 feet.

The technique used by the powered pole saw is similar to that of a manual one; the only difference is that it’s easier to use, especially for an undercut.

You still have to make the initial cut one foot away from where you target the finished cut to be to avoid bark tearing. (source)

2. Use a Pole Pruner

A pole pruner makes cutting tree limbs that are too high to reach quick and straightforward.

However, it is essential to know the size of the diameter you are planning to cut.

It is the best for diameters less than an inch or for soft tress like the pine since they are easy to cut.

Also, note that it is easier to cut a live branch than a dead and dry one.

Pole pruners use the leverage system like the rope pulleys to increase the effort on the low end.

They usually have a hook blade that allows you to hold the branch from the upper part, and as you pull the lever device, the bottom jaw blade cuts upward.

Pole pruners come in various lengths and styles of pole. Some are telescopic; others have fixed lengths, while others come in a design that allows you to add sections for making them longer.

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Before you start the cutting, it is crucial to figure out the direction to which the branch will fall to avoid accidents.

3. Use Pocket Saw With A Rope

How To Cut Tree Limbs That Are Too High To Reach

A pocket saw ideally is a chainsaw with a rope tied to its both ends.

To use it, you start by throwing a line over the limb you are planning on pruning.

This line helps you pull the rope over while attached to the chainsaw chain.

You have to make sure that the saw blade is in the right spot.

To achieve this, after throwing a line over the branch, slide the rope as you try reaching the cutting spot.

Also, ensure that the cutting side is against the branch for a perfect cut.

After everything is in place, begin by pulling one end slowly, then do the same to the other end and once it’s in the groove, start pulling it faster.

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The only limitation of this method is how far you can throw the rope and its length.

The best side of this method is that it’s convenient, cheaper, and simple than most other ways.

4. Ladder With A Pruner

How To Cut Tree Limbs That Are Too High To Reach

Unlike the methods above, this particular one does not involve cutting high branches from the ground.

A ladder is the simplest way one can get above the ground while pruning.

If you plan to cut a branch attached to the trunk, an extension ladder will be ideal.

Put it against the tree trunk and ensure it is long enough to reach the intended position.

In case you want to trim the ends of branches, use a step ladder and ensure it is firm enough to support you through the entire activity.

You can have someone hold the ladder for you if you doubt its stability.

Never place the ladder on the branch you are pruning to avoid accidents.

5. Rent A Bucket Lift

If there is a bucket lift near your home, you can rent one. Some bucket lifts are a trailer type meaning you will need to pull it using a truck to your home.

Others will have to be shipped to your yard.

They come in different sizes and capabilities; for instance, the trailer type lifts to 40 feet while the self-propelling ones can reach 125 feet.

After positioning it in the right position, use the outriggers to make it stable.

Now you can use a pruner to cut the branches from the tree.

However, there are some things to look into before thinking using this method.

One of these factors is driving the shipping vehicle to the tree without barriers such as a fence or other trees.

Also, make sure the terrain is not sloppy or hilly since the bucket lift works best on flat grounds.

6. Climb the tree

Climbing the tree is an excellent idea, but it depends on the structure of the limbs on the tree.

A tree with close together limbs will be easier to climb than that with limbs far apart.

You will need a climbing harness and a rope to reach the target branch for the far apart limbs.

A climbing harness aids while pruning the far ends of a branch.

While on top of the plant, use a regular pruning saw since it is tricky to use a long pole.

Be careful to avoid bark tearing caused by a falling branch.

Also, try to figure out where the limb is most likely to fall to avoid accidents.

You can have someone tie a rope on the branch so that they pull it to a safe direction.

Ensure there are no people under the tree to avoid accidents.

7. Call A Professional

If you doubt your skill in cutting branches, it is wise to call a professional to get the work done.

Some trees may have complex branches that the above equipment cannot easily handle.

Pruning high trees come with many dangers, and you don’t have to risk your life.

A professional arborist has special skills and experience required for cutting the limbs and branches, unlike you.

They can figure out how to handle a particular tree to avoid accidents.

Safety Measures When Cutting Tree Limbs

Check for point of weakness or cracks

Some trees may have cracks that serve as an indicator that it may not hold a lot of weight.

In such cases, ensure you avoid such spots and support yourself with a different branch or limb to avoid falling.

You can have someone to help you in case of anything or use an aerial lift.

Wear The Right Attire

You should wear attires that ensure that your body is safe during the pruning process.

Such attires include a helmet to protect your head from falling branches and debris.

Also, wear sunglasses or any eye protector to avoid wood particles, insects, or dust from entering your eyes.

If you are climbing the tree, ensure your shoes have an anti-slip sole to offer a firm grip.

In case you are using noisy equipment, use ear protectors to avoid ear damage.

When using electrical equipment, wear tight clothes made of a poor conductor of electricity.

Steps to follow when cutting a tree Limb

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Before attempting to cut high tree limbs, it’s important to assess the situation and evaluate whether it’s a job you can safely handle.

Consider factors such as the height of the limbs, their proximity to power lines or structures, the stability of the tree, and your personal level of experience.

If the tree is particularly tall or the limbs are located near hazardous areas, it may be best to seek professional assistance.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools and Equipment

To safely cut high tree limbs, you will need specific tools and equipment. Some essential items include:

  • Ladder: Choose a sturdy ladder that is tall enough to reach the limbs comfortably. Ensure that the ladder is in good condition and placed on stable ground.
  • Pruning saw or pole saw: Invest in a quality pruning saw or pole saw with a sharp blade. These tools are specifically designed for cutting tree limbs at heights.
  • Safety gear: Wear appropriate safety gear, including a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, and non-slip footwear. This equipment will protect you from potential falling debris and ensure your overall safety.
  • Rope and harness: If the limbs are too high for a ladder, a rope and harness system may be necessary.
  • This will allow you to safely access the limbs and perform the cuts while maintaining balance and stability.

Step 3: Plan Your Approach

Before initiating any cutting, plan your approach. Identify the limbs you intend to remove and decide on the best cutting technique.

It’s generally advisable to remove the branches in sections rather than attempting to cut them off entirely. T

his will help maintain stability and control during the process.

Step 4: Clear the Area

Ensure the area around the tree is clear of any obstacles or individuals who may be at risk. Remove any furniture, vehicles, or other objects that could potentially be damaged during the cutting process. This will prevent accidents and facilitate a safer working environment.

Step 5: Begin Cutting

When you’re ready to start cutting, follow these steps:

  1. Position yourself safely: If you’re using a ladder, make sure it’s securely placed and that you’re stable before starting. If using a rope and harness, make sure you’re properly secured before ascending.
  2. Make an undercut: Begin by making an undercut on the underside of the limb, about a foot away from the trunk. This will prevent the weight of the limb from causing it to tear or strip bark as it falls.
  3. Make a top cut: Move a few inches further along the branch, just outside the undercut, and make a top cut. This cut should meet the undercut and remove the section of the limb.
  4. Remove the remaining stub: Once the limb has been cut, remove the remaining stub by making a final cut just outside the branch collar. This will help the tree heal properly and reduce the risk of disease or insect infestation.

Step 6: Dispose of the Cut Limbs

Once the limb has been cut, carefully lower it to the ground. Use caution to ensure it doesn’t swing or hit any obstacles during its descent. You can then move the cut limbs to a safe location for disposal, such as a compost pile or designated green waste area.

Step 7: Clean Up and Maintenance

After completing the limb cuts, take the time to clean up the area around the tree. Remove any debris, such as twigs or leaves, that may have fallen during the process. It’s also important to inspect the tree for any signs of damage or potential hazards. If you notice any issues, consult a certified arborist for further assessment and guidance.

Avoid Improper Pruning

Pruning is a vital process for any tree’s healthy growth. When cutting the limbs, it’s recommended you count a distance of six inches from the trunk. It’s also essential to remove any branch that shows any signs of disease before the entire plant are infected.

In the cutting process, ensure the tool you’re using does not make flush or stub cuts. Stub cut means cutting far away outside the branch bark collar leaving the tissues attached to the stem. This may lead to more damage to the tree.

Flush cut means making pruning cuts close to the trunk or main branch. It destroys the natural defense mechanism of the tree responsible for wound healing and callus formation.

The flush cut makes the tree take too long to heal and recover, while stub cut may lead to the plant decaying backward, leading to the tree having more damage.

When cutting the tree limbs, make sure to make your final cut beyond the branch collar and bark ridge.

Additional Safety tips

  • Plan where the cut limb will fall and ensure no one is near the area to avoid accidents.
  • Consider your tool’s power source; for instance, wear clothes that can’t conduct electricity if it’s an electric saw.
  • When cutting the limbs from below, you should not stand directly below the limbs you’re cutting to avoid accidents.
  • If the tree is near power cables, it’s good to call a professional.
  • If you don’t have the courage to cut, calling a professional is advisable.
  • If using a ladder, ensure that it’s strong enough to hold your weight and the tool. You should also balance well to avoid exerting weight on one side.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How To Cut A Limb That Is Close To Electricity Cables?

Some trees grow tall and end up touching the electricity wires passing through your compound.

When the tree you’re planning to cut its high limbs near the power cables, the best way is to call a professional since they know the best way to do it.

Don’t be a victim of the many cases reported of accidents when cutting a tree.

Final thoughts on How To Cut Tree Limbs That Are Too High To Reach

Above are some of the ways on how to cut tree limbs that are too high to reach.

One way to cut tree limbs that are too high to reach is ensuring you have the right equipment.

Ensure that the equipment is in the right condition and well-performing to get the job done faster.

Keep the necessary safety measures while pruning to avoid accidents.

If the branches or the limbs are too complicated for you, call a professional to do the task.

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