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Tools For Trimming Tree Branches – Learn How To Prune Trees

Are you trying to figure out which are the best tools for trimming tree branches? If you have a tree with lower limbs that need to be removed or shortened because they are bumping your head while you mow the grass or maybe the limbs are hanging over your driveway and are beginning to scrape your car as you drive in and out. Either way that needs to be taking care of as it will continue to get worse!

There are several tools for trimming tree branches you will be able to chose from that will do the job for you. Some of these tools are better for small diameter limbs and some are better for much bigger branches, it depends on what type of work you need done.

Below you will find several tools for trimming tree branches, ranging from a small one handed pruners to the powerful chainsaw. Using cutting tools like these are an important part of my work trimming trees and I want to show you what each tool is used for.

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Best Metal Yard Rake – It Is Strong And Affordable

best metal yard rake

It is that time of the year again, Old Man Winter is fading and giving way to Spring. Along with Spring comes spring cleanup around the outside of your home. Using the best metal yard rake to remove sticks, leaves and other debris that has accumulated in your beautiful lawn over the winter will help get the job done much quicker than struggling with an old, weak and worn out rake!

The reason I consider this the best metal yard rake is because we use them in our family owned tree pruning and removal business! I have tried other metal yard rakes and some plastic yard rakes but this specific metal yard rake is one of the best for multiple uses in our business. I love this rake so much that we usually buy more than 1 at a time and when they wear out from our heavy commercial use I go back to the store and buy more!

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Toy Chainsaws For Kids – The Best Christmas Gift

Is it near Christmas time? Or perhaps your child’s birthday is coming up and you are trying to find the perfect gift! Maybe you already have too many toy tractors and trucks, then you could consider one of these toy chainsaws for kids. Some of them are extremely realistic and even have a running chain along with an engine noise!

If you or somebody you know has a chainsaw that they use for cutting firewood to provide heat for their house or maybe you use a chainsaw every day at work and your children have been watching and are extremely anxious to try their hand at cutting some wood. Well, your child is probably far too young to safely operate a real chainsaw so their next best option would be a realistic toy chainsaw specially designed for kids!

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What Is Felling Trees – Easily Cut Trees Down

You may be wondering what is felling trees or why it is said that way instead of cutting trees down. Maybe you were talking to your friend about some trees and the work that needed to be done with them and some would need to be removed. The person giving you an estimate probably wondered if it would be alright if they could fell the trees into the neighbor’s yard since that was their only option to safely remove the trees.

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Best Tools For Christmas – Favorite Gifts

Look at the calendar and Christmas is just around the corner. Already!? Well it’s never too early to buy Christmas gifts, especially if you can find a tool you want or need on sale. Snap it up before the sale ends and you have an early gift for yourself or someone you love. A few of the best tools for Christmas include tools to cut or trim trees, branches, shrubs, and firewood.

Chainsaws – The Workhorse

best tools for christmas

Aah the master of wood cutting. The powerful chainsaw, fire it up and listen to the powerful roar of the engine and feel its power in your hands. A chainsaw could be one if the best tools for Christmas, but of course that depends on where you live and if you ever have any trees or firewood to cut.

I have seen a lot of positive on the fairly new battery operated chainsaws. The battery usually last about as long as a tank of gas would and a huge benefit is the instant start, no need to pull the starter rope on a stubborn chainsaw that doesn’t want to run!

For those who only use a chainsaw several times a year a battery saw could be a one of the best tools for Christmas gifts, they don’t need to worry about a gas carburetor gumming up and basically if you have a few spare chains you are set for years!

My favorite chainsaw brand is STIHL, we use mostly STIHL in our family owned tree pruning and removal business. However, STIHL and Husqvarna are the top brands and geared toward commercial use. They do make a few models for residential use and there are many other brands farther down the ladder to choose from depending on your color and price preferences.

Hedge Trimmers – Finesse Pruning

best tools for christmas

Hedge trimmers may not be quite as common but what better way to trim you own shrubbery and landscaping? Maybe you prefer to let the experts take care of your outdoor work, but if you are feeling ambitious or need to get Dad out of the house and trim bushes away from the sidewalk so you can actually walk on it instead of through the lawn, then a Hedge trimmers could be a great Christmas gift!

Here again you can choose between a gas engine or battery powered, the battery powered hedge trimmers seem to really be taking off as people are adding them to their collection of outdoor battery powered tools!

STIHL is the brand I use but of course you can decide which best fits your budget and plan accordingly. If you have a cordless tool set you may be in luck if they also make a hedge trimmer!

Leaf Blower – Heavily Used

best tools for christmas

We have arrived probably the most popular outdoor power tool, the leaf blower or blower and or whatever you prefer to call this nifty and efficient machine! Simply pick it up and with a few yanks on the starter rope or simply pulling the throttle on a battery operated one and you will have your driveway and sidewalks cleared in no time!

A leaf blower is defiantly used year round and therefore an excellent item to include in the best tools for Christmas list! In early spring you will use it during spring cleanup, for leaves and small broken down sticks in your yard or driveway. In summer any grass clippings on the sidewalk can quickly be blown away! And the most popular use is in the fall when leaves fall from the trees.

Less common, but still works like a charm is to blow light coatings of snow off sidewalks and driveways! We actually use a backpack leaf blower at hospital outpatient buildings to keep the entryways clear for their customers! Works amazing for cold dry snow!

Hand Saw – Strenuous Work

If your still reading and hoping to find the best tools for Christmas that are non motorized and hand held you are in luck!

Can you believe they used to saw lumber by hand back in the old days, now we complain when the chainsaw don’t start or we need to use a hand saw to cut a few limbs. I agree it’s a lot of work to use a hand saw but keep the blade sharp and stick with small branches.

Try to use a thin blade for a narrow cut and a smaller saw for less weight. Keep an even and steady pace so we don’t tire as quickly and prepare yourself for the appetite you will work up!

Hand Shears / Pruners – Delicate Pruning


A hand shears is similar to a large scissors, with its blades about 12 inches long. The two handles open and close the blades and it’s designed to quickly shape a shrub. It is best used to cut small twigs roughly a quarter inch or less.

The hand shears could easily trim the top and sides of your shrubs if you only have a few and don’t believe it’s worth purchasing a motorized hedge trimmer.

For larger branches up to three quarters of an inch a hand pruners is ideal. This pruners has a smaller blade but is designed to cut much nearer the hinge point for more torque. It can usually by operate with one hand while the other hand throws out the branches that are being cut.

A tough and resilient hand pruners brand I love is Felco. We have been using it for years and a little oil to the hinge and an occasional sharpening keeps it performing admirably!

Leaf Rake – Who Hasn’t Used One?

best tools for christmas

The good old leaf rake! It can be used for just about anything the needs to be cleaned up or moved. And so many sizes, lengths and brands to choose from. Should it be made of wood, plastic, or metal? What about the handle, wood or metal? Should it have soft hand grips?

First you need to determine if you will be mostly raking leaves or sticks, then decide on the rest. To rake sticks you will want a strong aggressive rake, probably with steel tines and only a medium width.

To rake mostly leaves a wide rake is excellent and it can have metal or plastic tines. Although they generally are plastic for less overall weight.

Then pretty much just pick out the color or look of the rake you like and it will do the job for you!

Merry Christmas Or Whatever Time Of The Year It Is

I hope you enjoyed learning about tools we use in our business and which could be the best tools for Christmas gifts. Or even Fathers Day, Mothers Day, or a Birthday! Enjoy your own gifts and the holidays!

Your Arborist Friend: Justin

Best Residential Wood Chipper – It Makes Useful Mulch

Do you have many beautiful trees growing on your property and have often wondered which the best residential wood chipper would be for you to quickly and efficiently chip the branches that you cut off when pruning trees for their health and beauty? It sure doesn’t take long or many cuts until their is a large pile of branches laying on the ground that can make it difficult walk around and finish the pruning job!

A residential wood chipper is also useful when a storm breaks down branches or you want to clean up other dead limbs that have fallen from the trees.

Their are many different sizes of chippers or shredders and the best residential wood chipper for you may will vary depending on the size of the job or the diameter of the branches you will be chipping. Most of these chippers are gas powered with the smallest chippers using electric.

You may be looking for a larger model that will be able to chip 6 inch diameter branches and firewood pieces or a smaller and cheaper model that can chip 3 inch diameter branches. There is a budget electric model that can chip up to 1.5 inch diameter branches and is ideal for small branches and twigs.


6 Inch Diameter Gas Powered Best Residential Wood Chipper

Best Residential Wood Chipper

Your best residential wood chipper for engine power and ease of feeding the branches through it will be the 6-inch chipper. Generally you will want the largest size of cutting diameter possible to make feeding branches through easier. The crotches in branches tend to hang up with smaller chippers. Unfortunately the price difference between the 6 inch and 3 inch models is fairly large so you will need to decide on how much work you will be doing and the diameter of most branches you will be chipping.

The gas engine offers more power and can be operated anywhere without needing to worry about finding an electric outlet to power it.

Some of these can be towed behind a vehicle to other nearby jobs or around your property. These towable models are especially convenient with the ease of transporting on the road by simply towing it behind your SUV or pickup truck.

A standard discharge chute can be angled out either side and the adjustable deflector lets you decide where to spread the chips as you work or blow them on a pile beside the chipper.

3 Inch Diameter Wood Chipper / Shredder

Best Residential Wood Chipper
These wood chippers are possibly going to be the best residential wood chipper for you! They are reasonably priced and similar brands of this size seem to be a favorite for many people for chipping sticks into manageable wood chips. Leaves and grass clippings can be shredded in this machine to provide an organic fertilizer for your garden or landscape beds! Branches and other debris is put in the hopper and gravity pulls it down to the blades to be chipped.


Its gas engine will allow you to operate the machine anywhere on your property and not be restricted by dragging an electric extension cord around.

This size of chipper has several discharge options. The main option is a discharge chute with an adjustable deflector to aim the direction of wood chips. Another option is to bag the wood chips by attaching a bagging system to the discharge chute.

These chippers are not very heavy and can be pushed around by hand, They can also be towed by a lawn tractor or 4-wheeler around your property from tree to tree. To be transported on the road it will need to be set on back of a vehicle or on a trailer and hauled that way.

1.5 Inch Diameter Electric Twig And Leaf Shredder

Now we have arrived at the smallest and by far the cheapest of the best residential wood chippers. These electric chippers are powered by electric, so simply plug in an extension cord and you are ready to work! They are much quieter than gas engines which can be beneficial if your using this machine in an area that dislikes louder noise. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting a gas engine started or serviced occasionally.

With this size of shredder you will need to cut branches off at their crotches so they will fit through. It will shred small branches into a hopper or bag attached to the bottom of the machine, when the bag is full simply remove it and dump out the chips to continue your job.

A sturdy push paddle is included to safely push small materials that don’t self-feed through the blades.

Grass clippings and leaves can be run through this machine to be ground into small pieces and then used as a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer for your garden or flowerbed!

What Should I Do With The Wood Chips?

After chipping or shredding any type of material you will have pile of wood chips with its size depending on how much was chipped. You may wonder what the wood chips can be used for or if they have any value. Some of the best residential wood chippers create fine chips that are useful and can be used for numerous things!

A few common ideas are for mulch in flower or landscape beds, you can save a sizable amount of money by using wood chips instead of buying premium bark mulch for your local landscaper!

Wood chips can be used as a walking path through a wooded area, they will keep the weeds down and your shoes out of the mud.

Playground areas are another excellent place to use wood chips, they are Eco friendly and any chips that escape the area into the surrounding grass will eventually compost into the ground.

If you have a compost pile, wood chips are superb addition to add fuel and heat to the composting process.

Last Thoughts About Chippers

One of these different sizes may be the best residential wood chipper for you if you are going to be using it occasionally and mostly planning to chip smaller branches. If you have a lot of work or many large branches you may want to consider renting or buying a bigger chipper.

In our Tree Pruning and Removal Business we are using a chipper capable of chipping a 12-inch diameter branch! Our chipper is a commercial grade meant to be used often and for hard work. It is built to withstand heavy use and it’s price would be above some homeowner’s budgets.

I hope sharing my experience using our chipper has helped you in some way as you are searching for information on which brand and model is the best residential wood chipper for you.

I hope you have an enjoyable time pruning your trees and chipping the branches! If you have any questions be sure to ask me in the comment section below and I would be happy to answer them!

Your Arborist Friend:


How To Trim Trees Correctly – Keep Your Trees Beautiful

Today you decided to trim your tree! But of course the burning question, how to trim trees correctly? You certainly don’t want to permanently damage your beautiful trees by making bad cuts or cutting branches that should not be cut. Making random cuts and stripping or tearing bark from the tree trunk is detrimental to the health of the tree!

Tips on how to trim trees correctly:

  • Make an undercut on the bottom of the branch to prevent the bark from stripping off the tree trunk.
  • Remove lower limbs for more clearance and for more sunshine beneath the tree to promote thicker grass.
  • Cut away small limbs or twigs from the middle of the tree, any dead limbs you find can also be removed.
  • Limbs that are being removed are cut at the branch collar, the bulge where a tree and branch connect.
  • Usually 20% to 30% of the tree can be reduced without harming the tree when doing crown reduction.
  • The best time to trim a tree is autumn or winter when the growing season is over, although they can be trimmed year round.
  • And last but certainly not least, you need a sharp tool to make clean and smooth cuts to promote faster healing, like a chainsaw, hand saw, loppers, or hand pruner.

I want to share some tips and advice I have learned over the last 15+ years cutting down and pruning trees! I love my job, it allows me to work with my family, and I want to share useful information with others so they are able to prune and maintain their own trees correctly!

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What Is A Running Bowline Knot – How To Use It

There are thousands of knots and many of them can be used for various different jobs! Today I want to answer your question, what is a running bowline knot?

First of all I want to make sure you are pronouncing it correctly, its not pronounced as you may think!  Bowline pronunciation

The quick answer is it is a knot with a loop and can be made anywhere in the rope, but usually near the end. The rest of the rope is able to run through the knot, creating a noose of any size as long as your rope!

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Installing A Chainsaw Chain – A Simple How To Guide

You may be cheerfully cutting firewood to stack for your winter heat supply when you suddenly cut into a nail somebody had hammered into the tree a long time ago and the tree had grown around it. Sometimes you can feel when you hit the nail or even see some sparks fly! Exciting! Other times you won’t know anything happened until the cutting speed slows or the chainsaw is cutting crooked! Hopefully you have a few spare sharp chains, before you can continue you will need to be installing a chainsaw chain onto the guide bar.

This is a fairly easy task, although I do have over 15 years experience so that does help. But I want to share how I go about installing a chainsaw chain on our STIHL chainsaws. Our popular chainsaws are a STIHL MS 261 using an 18-inch bar, they are fairly easy to put on a new chain. The other chainsaw is a STIHL MS 661 and has a 32-inch bar which is a bit more difficult to install!

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Heavy Duty Pulling Rope – Pull Over Huge Trees

While some trees are easier than others to cut down, there will always be the difficult tree jobs that need a heavy duty pulling rope to pull the tree away from high voltage lines or a house and buildings or any other valuable property.

In our Tree Pruning and Removal business we have cut down thousands of trees and each one represents its own unique challenge!

While the easy tree removals can go fast, sometimes it can take quite some time to take every precaution to be sure everything is right before we start to cut on a big tree that is leaning the wrong way and toward a house.

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