Last Updated on 17/07/2023 by Barney
Cutting back and pruning tree branches, clematis, wisteria and climbing roses can be a dangerous task if not armed with the right long reach pruner (or long handled secateurs if you prefer the phrase)
Long reach tree pruners and extending tree loppers are the gardening tool of choice for tackling those hard to reach, thicker branches, stems & foliage.
Here I cover both types of extending tree lopper. The telescopic pruner (long handled secateurs) and the long reach extending pole type lopper. The search is over..
Spear & Jackson 80cm Long Reach Pruner
Fiskars SmartFit L86 Telescopic Branch Cutter
Reaching those tall shrub or low hanging tree branches is easy with the Fiskars L86 long reach pruner due to its extended reach of 90cm.
What I really love about these long reach loppers is the telescopic mechanism. It is a slide and lock system. I have never got along with telescopic pruners that you turn and twist the handle to lock.
- 90cm Long reach
- Lightweight – 1.24Kg
- Rust free stainless steel
- Non stick blade coating
- Orange handle makes easy to find in low light
At this moment in time I can not find any thing negative about these loppers
Wilkinson Sword 1.6 m Ultra-light Telescopic Pruner
At just under 1Kg this is the lightest long reach tree pruner we have come across. However it’s total length is 1.6m (+ user). If your not looking to prune anything over this height it’s a fabulous lightweight branch trimmer.
- 1.6m Long reach pruner
- Easy to use
- Value for money
- 10 Year Warranty
- Saw blade not available for these pruners
Fiskars UPX82 Telescopic Tree Pruner
1.6m telescopic long reach pruner for regular garden use. At just 780g, this extendable tree pruner makes light work of all those low hanging branches, climbing roses and taller hedges.
- 1.6m Long reach pruner
- Great looking
- Rust free components
- Replaceable Parts
- 36mm Cutting diameter
- Saw blade attachment available for these pruners
- Blade can jam shut
Wolf Garten RCM 4m Telescopic Tree Pruner – Lopper
The Wolf Garten multi-star RCM professional long reach tree lopper is a serious bit of kit. It is my preferred long reach telescopic lopper / pruner. I have had this model for years, it has never let me down.
It has a whopping 40mm cutting diameter and goes through garden branches with ease. This package comes complete with the multi-change Wolf Garten Vario extension pole (4 metre) which can be fitted with the Wolf Garten pruning saws and fruit pickers.
- Rust free aluminium shaft
- 4m long reach pruner with Vario telescopic pole
- 40mm cut
- Easy to service
- Can feel a bit heavy after prolonged use
Wolf Garten RC-VM Adjustable Long Reach Pruner Head
This attachment offers all the great build quality and reliability of the version above with the difference is the head is the cutting angle is adjustable to 180 degrees.
You will need to buy a Wolf Garten Vario telescopic extension pole for this tool head to fit into, also available on Amazon, to turn the unit into a long reach pruner
Draper Expert 2.5 metre Telescopic Pruner
This a well built tool for the price from Draper.
It is easy to control and manoeuvre. The additional pruning saw blade comes as standard and not as an additional item.
This pruner tool will cut up to 30mm branches with the lopper blade, for anything larger there is the saw attachment. Also boasts a maximum 2.5m long reach.
Unlike the Fiskars and Wolf Garten pruner these pruners do not have an adjustable head to get to those vertically growing branches which can make pruning trees a little more tricky.
Fiskars UPX86 4 metre Telescopic Tree Pruner
Fiskars, a name we have all come to recognise as providers of quality, well made garden tools, pruners and garden shears have not disappointed with this model.
The UPX86 long reach pruner has a whopping extra long reach of 4 metres fully extended, allowing for most tasks a home owner might need to do before calling out a tree surgeon. Add 4 metres to your own reach and it’s possible to reach 6m with this extended tree trimmer.
The extending handle is made from aluminium making it lighter than other models to use. The blades are super strong and sharp and can easily cut through branches and growth up to 30mm in diameter. The angled head makes light work of cutting hard to get to branches and vertical growth.
This model is perfect for garden fruit tree work, pruning tall climbing roses, wisteria etc where a longer reach is required. Unlike other models the cord is located inside the handle so there is no getting tied up in metres of cord laying around your feet. Optional saw blade available.
Our best telescopic tree pruners…
Wolf Garten multi-star RC-VM Professional Tree Lopper (closely followed by the Fiskars UPX86 long reach pruner)
If your budget allows it will give you years of cutting service without any hassle. Once you have purchased the Vario long reach telescopic handle you can interchange the anvil pruner cutting head with a Wolf-Garten saw blade attachment, amongst other attachments.
Branches up to approx 40mm diameter then a long reach pruner / telescopic lopper is fine. Anything larger then I would suggest a long reach saw. Both the Fiskars UPX86 and the Wolf Garten poles can also be fitted with a saw attachment for a bigger cut.
When cutting tree branches overhead with a telescopic pruner do not stand directly under the branches your cutting! I know this sounds a silly comment to point out but you will be surprised how complacent you get with overhead cutters. Safety first!
Wear safety googles. Could save you a trip to A & E for a scratched eyeball!
When cutting up the pruned branches use other tree pruning tools and not your secateurs, you will only damage them on thick material.
Buyer’s Guide: Long Reach Tree Pruners
Long reach tree pruners provide a practical solution for reaching those high branches without the need for ladders or climbing trees. If you’re considering purchasing a long reach tree pruner, this buyer’s guide will help you make an informed decision by addressing key factors to consider.
Reach and Cutting Capacity
When selecting a long reach tree pruner, consider the reach and cutting capacity it offers. Look for pruners with extended reach capabilities, usually measured in feet or meters, to ensure you can comfortably access the desired height. Additionally, check the cutting capacity, which refers to the maximum thickness of branches the pruner can handle. Opt for a pruner with a cutting capacity suitable for the size of branches you intend to prune.
Long reach tree pruners typically employ one of two cutting mechanisms: bypass or anvil. Bypass pruners feature two curved blades that pass by each other, providing a clean and precise cut, making them ideal for live branches. Anvil pruners, on the other hand, have a single cutting blade that closes against a flat surface, allowing for easier cutting of dead or dry branches. Consider your specific pruning needs and choose a pruner with a cutting mechanism appropriate for the type of branches you’ll be working with.
Weight and Ergonomics
Since long reach tree pruning can be a physically demanding task, it’s crucial to consider the weight and ergonomics of the pruner. Look for lightweight models that won’t strain your arms and shoulders during prolonged use. Ergonomic features such as cushioned grips and adjustable handles can significantly enhance comfort and reduce fatigue. Testing the pruner’s balance and maneuverability before purchasing is advisable to ensure it suits your physical capabilities.
Blade Quality and Maintenance
The quality of the pruner’s blades directly affects its cutting performance and longevity. Opt for long reach tree pruners with high-quality, sharp blades made from durable materials such as carbon steel or hardened stainless steel. Additionally, consider the ease of blade maintenance. Some pruners feature replaceable blades or blade sharpening systems, which can prolong the lifespan of the tool and reduce long-term costs.
Long reach tree pruners come with various extension mechanisms, including telescopic poles and sectional extensions. Telescopic poles offer continuous adjustment and can be locked at different lengths, providing flexibility and adaptability. Sectional extensions consist of multiple shorter pole sections that can be added or removed, allowing for customization of the tool’s length. Consider the stability and ease of the extension mechanism when selecting a pruner to ensure it offers secure and reliable operation.
Legally you can cut overhanging branches providing the tree is not in Conservation Area or a Listed tree. For this you will need obtain permission from the council.
In my experience consulting with your neighbour beforehand can save a potential fall-out.