Monday 18 December 2017

Garden gifts for the tool shed (5), Jack Saw

Prune alright Jack

Over six days before Christmas I make some suggestions. They are tools that I regularly use. I cannot claim that there are not better ones and if you have your own personal favourites please let me know

Irwin 880 Universal saw

I found Peter Williams up a ladder sawing a very large branch. He was using the kind of saw that rusts in my garage, is never used and would not cut butter. Surely he knew that a bow saw refreshed with a new blade was what he really needed?

Wrong yet again! Modern blades are sharp and long lasting. I took an Irwin back home and prune with a bow saw no more.
The jack saw is strong, light and flexible. It is so easy to guide into awkward angles and cut close and cleanly to a trunk.(But remember you always need to cut to a neat shoulder for large branches).
Pruning trees and sawing logs for the fire is now pure pleasure.

The more I use this saw the more I like it and find myself using it in circumstances where I might have otherwise used loppers, secateurs or even my hedge trimmer. Here is a list.
1. Removal of copious water-shoots that sprout on such as apples and pears heavily pruned in the previous year. Similarly cutting back dense bundles of woody shoots from the ground on shrubs such as spiraea
2. Cutting out larger branches normally taken out by loppers. Those in awkward places or needing to be cut close to a trunk.
3. Dividing herbaceous plants with tough bases such as bog irises or those with wiry roots like Lathyrus vernus.

Ideal for dividing my dwarf bulrush to give pieces to friends
4. Cutting back certain ornamental grasses such as miscanthus when their leaves sometimes clog up the teeth of the preferred hedge trimmer.
5. Cutting back tough large petioles on such as phormiums or whipping out a gunnera leaf that has strayed. I preferred it to cut back thick clumps of asparagus this year.

My felco could not wait for tomorrow

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