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Silky Smooth Sawing

Silky Smooth Sawing
Posted on 31/01/10 | Posted by The Fat Gardener

One of the unwelcome side effects of this month’s snowy weather was the damage that the weight of snow did to the branches of shrubs and trees. My garden was not spared this ‘treat’ and so I have spent some of this week restoring my trees to their former glory.

When limbs are broken in this ‘mechanical’ fashion, the break is very rarely clean. Rough edges and breaks become collecting areas for disease or fungi and so making a smooth, clean cut close to the trunk is essential to encourage the healing process to take place. If the branch is about 1" (25mm) I can make a very clean cut with a pair of loppers, but if the branch is thicker than this I always use a Silky Saw.

Cuts should always be made slightly above a bud, or close to the ‘collar’ (the swollen area where the branch meets the trunk). In the case of cutting back to the main stem, take care not to damage the collar as this is the area that will ‘heal over’ the cut branch. It is also advisable to make an undercut about 12" from the trunk and then an overcut, this will prevent the bark tearing and will leave you with a small stub which can be cut more precisely.

A sharp saw is essential when performing these tasks and it is worth remembering that the bigger the saw’s teeth, the faster the cut and the rougher the finish. The best pruning saws like Silky will cut on the pull stroke and eject any chips efficiently to prevent the blade from clogging.

Many of you already know how much I like Silky Saws, but I was not aware of how much other garden journalists love these Japanese saws. They have been recommended by Lila Das Gupta in Gardener’s World Magazine, were the ‘Editor’s Choice’ in a recent test in The English Garden Magazine and have been listed by the Daily Telegraph ‘Gardening’ section as a great pruning tool.

For those of you who are mourning the lost limbs of your favourite trees and shrubs, I sympathise and hope that by pruning back the branches they will flourish anew over the coming years.

Remember that all sawing should be Silky Smooth Sawing!

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