How to Use A Pole Saw to Trim High Tree Branches – Safety and Techniques

Pole saws are an excellent tool to cut down high branches that are too high or too tough to reach. Learn the basic steps for using a pole saw properly and take the necessary safety precautions to prevent injury to yourself and your property.

We’ll share with you the proper pole saw cutting techniques and show you exactly what type of safety equipment you should have on hand.

How to Use an Electric Pole Saw

Before You Start.

  1. Put on Your Safety Gear. See the section on pole saw PPE below.
  2. Make sure the area is clear. Keep bystanders away at a safe distance and pets or children inside while cutting.
  3. Check the oil level of the chainsaw. If you don’t have an automatic oiler, press the oil button every 10 to 30 seconds while cutting to keep the chain moving smoothly.
  4. Ensure the extension cord is certified for outdoor use. If you combine more than one cord, loop them at the connection point to keep from losing power if a cord gets snagged.
man using a pole saw to trim a tree demonstrating the proper stance
Man demonstrating the proper stance while operating a pole saw.

Pole Saw Cutting Techniques

  1. Stand at an angle to the limb you are working on. It is hard to control where the tree branches fall. Give the branches a clear path to the ground
  2. Ensure you have a stable position and a firm grip on the tool.
  3. To turn the pole saw on, press and hold the safety button or throttle lockout & squeeze the trigger/throttle control.
  4. Place the angle over the branch. Start the pole saw and apply light steady pressure. Let the chain do the cutting for you.
  5. Stay in control at all times and keep your arms at waist level for maximum stability. Never raise your arms over your head.
  6. For thicker tree branches, make several consecutive cuts. You can pull out to make small v cuts and come from the other side or make a second cut at the bottom.
  7. After cutting, release the throttle control and make sure the chainsaw is fully stopped.
  8. Detach the chainsaw and chop the wood into smaller pieces for the fireplace.

Note: Pole saws can be very dangerous if not used properly, so it’s important to follow safety precautions. Even when using this tool, there is always the risk of injury or property. Please exercise caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using your pole saw as guidance can vary by model.

What to Wear When Using a Pole Saw

man wearing protective equipment - gloves, hard hat, coveralls while trimming trees

Pole saws are handy tools, but they can also be dangerous.

Make sure you have the proper personal protective equipment to prevent injury. Here are the basics you will need.

  • Snug-fitting clothes so they don’t get caught on anything while you are working. Thick work pants or chaps and long sleeves are recommended.
  • Work boots with rubber soles to give you a firm stance and protect your feet.
  • Hard hat to protect your head from falling tree branches.
  • Eye goggles or wrap-around glasses to keep small chips from flying into your eyes.
  • Ear protection. Chain saws can be incredibly loud and extended use can cause hearing damage.
  • Thick gloves with rubber to give you a better grip and protect your hands.

Safety Tips for Using a Pole Saw

closeup of chainsaw portion of the pole saw in tree

Here are a few extra pointers you should keep in mind as you work.

  • Always use a pole saw during the day. It is important to see what you are doing!
  • Never cut when it’s wet or damp out. Damp grass can cause slips or falls which is especially dangerous when you have a moving chain saw.
  • Keep track of your cord and know where it is at all times. Cords can be a tripping hazard. Tension on the cord can also interrupt the flow or your cutting, causing your arms to jerk and make unintended cuts.
  • Evaluate the area around tree branches to ensure you only cut the tree branch. Keep an eye out for electric wires or nearby structures or roofs.
  • Focus on cutting one limb at a time.
  • Watch for spring back when you pull down on the tree limb while cutting, it can spring back causing unintentional damage to yourself or your property.
  • Watch out for kickback of the chainsaw.
  • Focus on cutting only 8-inch branches or less. Thicker branches should be left to a professional.

Summary for How to Use a Pole Saw to Trim Trees

Pole saws are handy tools for removing unwanted tree branches that are too high or too tough to reach. A good pole saw can save you a lot of time and effort if done correctly. But as they say, with great power comes responsibility.

  1. Make sure you learn the basic steps for using a pole saw.
  2. Wear the mandatory personal protective equipment and know what to wear to avoid injuries and ensure safety.
  3. Choose the best tools and techniques for trimming trees safely, so you can gain control and confidence while cutting branches.

This article is a good general guide for trimming trees with a pole saw, but be sure to also check your equipment instruction manual since manufacturer instructions can vary based on the design of your specific pole saw.