Pole saws to keep trees healthy

Trim those hard-to-reach branches with a chainsaw on a stick.

If you want to keep your trees healthy and looking their best, it’s important to occasionally prune older or damaged branches. A great tool for this is a pole saw. Essentially, pole saws are chainsaws attached extendable rods and designed to cut thicker branches.

Pole saws can be powered by gas, an electrical outlet, or rechargeable batteries. Gas-powered tools are best for larger jobs, with longer run-times and more power for branches up to 12 inches thick. However, they’re often heavier and more expensive than their electric cousins. For smaller branches or fewer trees, consider a plug-in or battery-powered option—they’ll also save you money.

When looking at pole saws, you want to pay attention to their working height, the cutting bar length (which determines the maximum diameter of the branches you can cut), the weight, and whether or not the saw is removable. That last feature makes it easier when you want to cut up the branches you fell.

Pole saws aren’t necessary if you’re just cutting off twigs, and they’ll come up short for branches with more than a 12-inch diameter—for that you’ll need a heavy-duty chainsaw. But for basic general property maintenance, they’re handy tools that cut through the mess.

Self-oiling. Amazon

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This 20-volt saw is powerful enough to handle branches five inches in diameter, and the eight-foot pole gives you a working height of 10 feet. And speaking of poles, it’s removable, letting you use the WG323 as a traditional chainsaw. The saw’s chain is self-oiling, and comes with a plastic sheath for storage.

Cuts eight-inch branches. Amazon

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Eighty volts gives this saw enough power cut through eight-inch diameter branches, and its 2AH battery runs for an average of two hours before needing a recharge. The saw features a 10-foot working height, and has an automatic chain oiler. At 12.8 pounds, it’s light enough for a full day of yard work.

Multi-position head. Amazon

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This budget-friendly, corded saw from Sun Joe features a eight-inch blade and 6.5-amp motor designed to cut branches up to 7.5 inches thick. The pole extends from 5.8 feet to 8.8 feet, for an effecting working height of about 10 feet. The light-weight saw only weighs 7.9 pounds, and a multi-position head can be angled from zero to 30 degrees.

Two-hour run-time. Amazon

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This saw features an eight-inch cutting bar to slice through six-diameter branches. The 20V MAX lithium-ion battery system provides an average run-time of about two hours. This is part of Black & Decker’s Power Connect line of products, and its battery works with the company’s other lawn and garden tools—so if you’re already operating in that ecosystem, this could be a nice addition to your tool shed.