“Hmm, maybe I should work on clearing more of the tree branches today,” I thought. 3 hours later, I’m not done, but I’m done for today. Shown here is what I worked on during the second half of the session.
I don’t know when the first branch/twig/leaves collection day of the season is, but we’re expected to get more snow tomorrow, so I figured it’d be good to do some cleaning and clearing.
In the back, I started by removing smaller branches, and bundling them up. Then I tied the larger branches together in bundles. Larger limbs were cleaned up as much as possible, and then I moved them to the front.
At the front, where there were large limbs downed from the big storm earlier in the month, I removed all the smaller twigs, cutting them up and filling a garbage bin. Limbs thicker than my thumb were left in three to four foot sections. Anything thicker than my arm was cut down into what I’d consider manageable pieces.
There’s one branch section that’s on the heavy size, but it’s too short to cut safely.
Following are the tools I used today. What tools would you have used for this kind of work?
I wrote about Stanley FatMax pruning shears previously, and put them to the task today.
The pivot screw kept loosening, leading to jamming and a widening gap. I might need to take the tool apart to give it a good cleaning. Maybe I’ll add some blue Loctite to the screw.
I seem to have hurt my hand a little – that’s not good. But I also did use the pruning shears on branches a little too large for it.
I also used Fiskars Power-Lever lopper, shears with extending handles. The handles on one arm kept shortening itself, and there’s no obvious way to tighten up the lock. But it got the job done.
These aren’t the easiest to use with the handles extended, as they spread really far apart. But it got the job done, cutting the larger branches down more manageable sizes.
The Dewalt FlexVolt reciprocating saw has been my go-to for cutting up the larger branches, and it’s been a breeze to use.
I’ve been using Diablo 9″ pruning reciprocating saw blades, with reasonably good results. I mangled the first blade in the first 5 minutes during my last branch-clearing session, when I cut down the large ones that fell on the road, but the second blade is still going strong.
I saw the new Diablo carbide pruning saw blade at my last visit to Home Depot. I might consider it when I run out of my non-carbide 5-pack of blades. But seeing as how I quickly ruined my first blade, I might just buy more of those.
I also used Milwaukee work gloves, released in 2016. They got wet after a while, and I couldn’t find any other work gloves in the garage. How does that happen? The same way it took me 5 minutes to find some ear muffs when I was ready to do some power sawing. I really need a dedicated drawer, cabinet, or shelf for safety gear.
So for those of you that have to deal with downed branches, or if you prune your own trees (or others’), how do you make them more manageable for collection or processing?
Side question: Do you think it’s worth it to dry the one or two largest tree limbs for use in a small project?
Update: Here’s what I still need to clean up:
I only cut them down enough to pull them out of the street.