Tree Branch Cutter – 7 Ways to Cut Tree Branches or Limbs That Are Too High to Reach


Have you ever trimmed tree branches by yourself? If the answer is yes, you know how difficult that task can be, especially if the branches are too high to reach. Whether you are cutting steel or wood, the preparation starts with securing the right equipment.

A tree branch cutter can use a pole saw or pruner or even a bucket saw. Additionally, it’s vital to monitor every move to avoid potential falls and injuries. 

In this article, we are focusing on cutting high branches. We’ll cover everything from the best time for cutting them to multiple ways to approach the problem. Once you finish reading, it’ll be easy to tackle even the highest limbs and branches!

Table of Contents

1. What Is the Best Time to Trim the Branches?

You can use a reciprocating saw pruning blade for cutting branches, and the tool will do a great job. Apart from using the right equipment, it’s vital to find the right time for DIY tree trimming. 

For the tree’s health, it’s best to perform the cutting during the winter. That’s because trees are dormant during that season. Therefore, it’s less risky for diseases and pests to attack it.

Even if pests only attack one tree, they can quickly spread to others. So, it might be a danger for the whole backyard. If you notice sick branches, you should act as soon as possible.

Cutting high tree limbs that suffered damage will prevent the disease from spreading.

From the perspective of a tree limb cutter, it helps if it’s not too cold, rainy, or windy. So, pick a winter afternoon when the weather is relatively okay for that season.

This video talks about why winter is a good time for cutting branches and provides additional tips on doing it properly.

2. How Can You Cut Branches or Limbs?

If you ever wondered how to cut tree limbs, the good news is there are multiple ways to do it. Here is the expert advice, so go ahead and pick the most suitable method.

2.1. Use a Pole Pruner

The most common way to cut off a limb is to use a pole pruner. These feature a simple method of reaching high branches, but one pruner might not fit all branches.

So, start by analyzing the height of the branches to cut. The experts suggest using a tape measure or other methods to assess the height. Next, use that information to acquire a pruner of adequate length.

A pole pruner is nothing but a tall tree trimmer. Some offer a fixed height, and you can adjust others. Therefore, it’s possible to extend the pole if necessary.

2.2. Use a Pole Saw

A man uses a pole saw to cut a large tree limb

Caption: A man uses a pole saw to cut a large tree limb

A pole saw is another extendable pruning tool. It comes with a blade and an extendable pole. Therefore, it can reach up to 20 feet in height, which is impressive.

On the other hand, these saws can’t handle thick branches. So, the maximum branch thickness to cut with it is up to 1-2 inches. If the branches are thicker, the experts suggest looking for a more suitable alternative.

2.3. Use a Pocket Saw with a Rope

Some call this an improvisation, but it’s a convenient way of cutting branches. Furthermore, it’s affordable when the limb is too high, and you need to cut it.

So, the idea is to get a strong rope for attaching the saw firmly. The first step is to throw it over the branch you plan to cut. Therefore, the rope should be of optimal length and not only strength.

Pull the rope to get the blade to the right height and position it properly. Now, start the cutting process until you remove the branch.

Using a rope saw for trees is tricky, but it allows for finishing the job without significant investments.

Check out this video to see how to saw a branch with a rope saw.

2.4. Use a Ladder with a Pruner or Pruning Saw

If you don’t like using the rope, it’s also possible to get a ladder. The crucial thing is that it is stable and can reach the required height. So, if the branch is 20 feet tall, you’ll need a tall ladder. 

The first step is placing the ladder in a stable position. Furthermore, ask someone to hold the ladder. It will minimize the risk of it falling to the ground.

Be careful when leaning on the tree or other branches. Your goal is to find an optimal position for cutting. Once you identify it, activate the tool and remove the target branch.

Here is a video that could help with stable ladder positioning. 

2.5. Rent a Bucket Lift

Caption: A man cutting a tree to promote its health

A bucket lift is a professional tool with a high price tag. Therefore, it’s smart to rent it when you need to cut branches. You can acquire a trailer and other types, so pick the one corresponding to the target limb height.

The advantage of using bucket lifts is that you can reach over 100 feet with them. On the other hand, the biggest problem is transferring the lift to the cutting location. You can use a truck to pull smaller bucket lifts. 

This video shows a man on a bucket lift while removing tree branches. 

2.6. Climb the Tree Using Ropes and Harness

Do you have the sufficient physical strength to climb that tree? A tree branch cutter can utilize ropes and harnesses to climb and cut the target limb. However, not all trees are suitable for climbing.

So, analyze if there are branches too close to each other or whether you could damage the tree’s structure if you climb it. Finally, make sure to analyze every move made for optimal safety carefully.

It’s vital to bring the saw to cut tree limbs with you. The experts advise tying it around the body but ensure it doesn’t bother you while climbing.

2.7. Use a Phone to Call a Professional

A professional arborist trimming a tree

Caption: A professional arborist trimming a tree

There are ways to trim tree branches yourself, but it’ll require putting in time and effort. You could be afraid of heights, or the entire project seems too risky. Whether you lack experience or prefer someone else to do it, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

Calling an arborist means minimizing safety risks and letting an experienced pro handle the cutting. They’ll also assess other branches and recommend other moves for maintaining the tree’s health.

3. Tree Branch Cutter– What to Pay Attention to When Trimming Tree Limbs?

It’s vital to approach a tree branch-cutting project with maximum caution. So, here are the safety measures to consider during the process!

3.1. Tree Branch Cutter:Take the Right Element

The elements refer to attire and equipment that suit the current conditions. For example, you’ll require safety goggles because pine needles and tree dust might go into your eyes. Gloves will protect you from scratching your hands, while anti-slip shoes ensure stability while climbing. 

It’s vital to have the right tools, too. So, make sure to find suitable equipment. A basic pole pruner is excellent for thin branches, but some projects require a professional high-limb rope chainsaw.

3.2. Tree Branch Cutter:Inspect the Trees for Weakness or Cracks Before Climbing

Here is a critical safety tip – there are no hasty moves when climbing a tree. The experts suggest analyzing how you’ll climb before making the first step.

Once you begin heading up, be careful about every step. It’s vital the branch you are leaning on can hold your weight. Otherwise, there’s a high risk of falling, and that’s not something you want to happen. 

3.3. Tree Branch Cutter:Avoid Improper Pruning Cut

The process of pruning is vital for the tree’s health and aesthetics. So, the experts recommend counting the distance of six inches to leave on the branch. On the other hand, it’s vital to remove any disease signs to avoid the entire tree getting infected. 

A tree branch cutter should avoid flush and stub cuts. The flush cut means cutting too close to the truck, and the tree will take longer to recover.

A stub cut is cutting too far away and might lead to the tree decaying backward, which means you did even bigger damage.

3.4. Tree Branch Cutter:Safety Tips

An arborist cutting a tree branch

Caption: An arborist cutting a tree branch

Here are some crucial safety tips to consider when cutting a high tree branch:

  • Consider the tool’s power source – if you use an electric saw, wear clothes that don’t conduct electricity well.
  • If there are power or cable lines in the tree, it’s best to call a professional. 
  • Always consider where the removed branch will fall, and ensure you don’t hurt anyone.
  • Wear protective equipment, such as helmets, glasses, gloves, etc.

4. Tree Branch Cutter– Frequent Q&A

4.1. Tree Branch Cutter:How to Prune a Tree That Is Close to Electrical Wires?

Professionals know how to cut a tree that’s in the vicinity of power lines. Therefore, it’s the safest option to call an arborist. Otherwise, you risk damage to the electric system, but also severe and potentially fatal injuries.

4.2. Tree Branch Cutter: How to Remove Branches Efficiently?

If you are pruning a large tree, you might remove a large number of branches. That’s when a helping hand could assist you. So, consider asking a family member or neighbor to be around and remove the branches as they fall on the ground.


You are ready to handle high branch removal on trees in your backyard or any other location. It’s vital to acquire the right tool and discover the proper method for your project.

You can use any of the seven ways mentioned, but make sure to maintain optimal safety. 

If you have questions or need professional cutting tools, NCCuttingtools is at your service. Make sure to check out the impressive product selection and contact the company if you need any assistance with your order!

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