Carol’s done it. Mary Ann, the Idaho Gardener’s done it. So has Mr. McGregor’s Daughter and Cindy from My Corner of Katy and M Sinclair Stevens from Zanthan Gardens. They’ve all used a reciprocating saw to prune woody plants.
Not only have they pruned with a recip saw, they raved about how easy it made pruning. I’m surprised to hear myself say this, but they made it sound fun! I have a pair of heavy-duty loppers and a pruning saw, but what I don’t have is a lot of upper body strength. Most of the time, when I need to cut back forsythias or lilacs, I reach for the nearest teenage son and volunteer him for the job.
Which is fine, when you’re talking about one forsythia or a couple of lilacs. But I’ve been eying an entire grove of Tartarian honeysuckle, an invasive shrub that has steadily taken over more ground during the twenty years we’ve lived here. It would get tedious, even for a willing young man, to cut them all down. But I figured two people, taking turns with the saw, could get the job done a lot faster–assuming it really did work on the bush honeysuckle as easily as it worked for those other gardeners.
When I tweeted that I was using my son’s saw for pruning, @torontogardens thought it sounded scary. I was already thinking about making a video about it, but her remark clinched it for me. This will take you five minutes to watch. Let me know if pruning with a reciprocating saw seems scary after you watch it:
I have already been taken to task for not wearing safety glasses and gloves, and rightly so. What was I thinking? Don’t be stupid like I was. Protect your vision and your fingers; both are irreplaceable.
I think the saw will be very helpful in the battle against the honeysuckles, but I still have to figure out if I should be replacing the shrubs with something else, or just wait to see what grows in its place.
How about you? Have you used a reciprocating saw for pruning, or for other garden chores? Share your experiences in the comments.