Posts Tagged With: Chain saws

Protect Your Trees: Learn How & When to Prune

How and When to Prune Your TreesTrees add beauty, interest and much needed shade to your yard. Replacing trees is a big investment, which is why properly pruning and maintaining them is essential. Not sure what kind of trees you have?

Who You Gonna Call? An Arborist, Of Course

An arborist is professionally trained in identifying the species and determining the health of individual trees, in the name of safety -for the trees and for your family. They can diagnose diseases, insect problems and soil health. Consult an arborist to find out what trees are best for your landscape and where to plant them. Many are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.

5 Reasons to Prune a Tree

  1. To remove dead or diseased branches
  2. To thin the crown, permit new growth and promote better air circulation
  3. To reduce tree height
  4. To remove obstructing lower branches
  5. To shape a tree for aesthetic purposes

There’s a Right Time to Prune Your Trees

Prune your trees during their dormant season (late fall, early winter) to minimize sap loss and stress to the tree. This will reduce the risk of fungus infection and insect infestation.

Helpful Tips on Pruning

  • Know what kind of trees you have – some flowering trees like to issue buds on old growth in the winter and then bloom in early spring. If you prune one of these trees in the winter, you may not have any blossoms come spring.
  • Avoid pruning a newly planted tree – give it time to establish.
  • Prune when the leaves have fallen – it makes it easier to see what needs to be cut.
  • Never cut more than 25% off of your tree at one time.
  • Don’t trim branches near electrical lines – call a professional or the power company.
  • Never cut the top off a tree – this can cause the tree to die. Thin branches out instead. If it is too tall, consider removing the tree completely.

Tree Surgery is … Surgery

Always use clean, sharp tools for pruning; you wouldn’t want anyone cutting on you with a dull blade, right? When removing diseased branches, wipe your cutters with disinfecting wipes between each cut. This will keep disease from spreading as you cut other branches. You can also use a solution of 1-part bleach to 9-parts water and dip the cutters in as you work.

Handy Tools for Pruning

  • Anvil hand pruners – for small branches up to a ½-inch in diameter.
  • Long-handled loppers – for medium sized branches up to 2.5 inches in diameter.
  • Pruning saw – for larger branches, use a pole extender to reach the higher branches.

Where to Cut and Why

If you would like a detailed how-to on pruning techniques, read our blog, Getting Ready for Fall Part 1: Tree Trimming a Seasonal Sport or visit the Arbor Day Foundation’s webpage for more information.

Let a Professional Handle the Tough Stuff

There are times when every DIY’er needs to step back and let a professional take over. If the limbs you want to cut down require the use of a chain saw and a ladder, then maybe this is one of those times. There’s no shame in playing it safe! 

Take Care of Your Trees

Trees are the crowning glory of any yard, so take care of them. At the end of a long day of pruning, sit down in the shade of your trees, relax and remember the words of John Muir (father of our National Parks): Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.

Congratulations! Another job well done. Now, go hug a tree!

Expert Advice

From tree pruners and chain saws to wood chippers and wheelbarrows our expert staff is always on hand to help with your next DIY gardening project. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Categories: Fall Checklist, Featured Products, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Ready for Fall Part 1: Tree Trimming – A Seasonal Sport

Prepare for Fall - Tree Trimming

Lying in your lawn chair, you look up and realize, “Man, my trees need a little shaping up.” Before you end your relaxation and start cutting away at your trees, take a deep breath. As with all things, timing is important. We have the how, when and whys of tree trimming to help you plan for the months ahead.

Why trim a tree?

  • To promote plant health – cut dead or diseased branches keeps it from spreading
  • To maintain a plant’s shape for landscaping purposes – like hedges or topiaries
  • To improve a plant’s appearance – control the plant’s size, shape and thickness
  • To protect people or property – remove branches that fall and injure people or property
  • To improve security around a property – remove unwanted growth blocking the view of entries or windows

Keep Your Trees Healthy and Looking Great

A little year-round maintenance (light shaping) is fine to keep your trees healthy and looking great. If you want to really prune a tree back, be sure to do it at the appropriate time during their yearly growth cycle. This way, you can encourage the plant to grow fuller and produce more flowers and fruit. An arborist can help you make the right decision on which branches to cut and which to save.

Trimming Promotes New Growth in Spring

So when is the best time to trim a tree? Winter months are when the tree is dormant. Pruning during this time will promote a generous burst of new growth come spring. Just wait until the coldest weather has passed and you should be fine.

Corrective Pruning

If you want to do some corrective pruning to a tree then do this in the summer months. By cutting a tree limb back during the summer part of their growth cycle, you are helping to slow the development of new branches. This is the time to take out low lying limbs so they will not readily return.

Fall – Enjoy Football Instead

Wait until after the fall to do any tree trimming. Because fungi spread their spores profusely during the fall, cutting a tree limb in the fall will make them susceptible to these diseases. Trees also heal slower during these months. Enjoy some football and wait.

Save Major Pruning for Winter

Winter is the time when you should do the most drastic trimming if needed. It is when you should cut branches that overhang your home or fence. The best rules of thumb are the 1/4 and 1/3 rules:

  • Never remove more than 1/4 of the tree’s crown in a season
  • Don’t prune more than 1/3 of the way up from the bottom on deciduous trees

Trimming Flowering Trees

For flowering trees, if they bloom in the spring then you should prune them after they finish blooming. If they bloom mid to late summer then trim them back in the winter or early spring. This will help you avoid trimming off any buds that the tree is forming for next year.

Use Sharp Tools

Some good tips for pruning any time of the year is to always use sharp tools. They will make cleaner cuts on the trees and will help the tree heal faster. If you have high branches use a pole pruner instead of trying to climb on a ladder. It is too easy to tip over when sawing a limb. Chain saws can help you take down many of your branches, but for large overhead branches play it safe and call in a professional. Check out our blog, How to Cut down a Tree, for more helpful suggestions on using chain saws.

Stress-Free Tree Trimming

As summer winds down, don’t stress over trimming back your trees. Make small adjustments here and there and save any major trim work for the winter months. Enjoy the dog days of summer and the wonderful shade your trees provide.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your yard and garden projects. From tree pruners and nippers to chain saws and wood chippers, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: DIY Projects, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

End of Fall Clean-Up: Protect Trees & Shrubs for Winter Conditions

Protect Trees & Shrubs for Winter

Time for the last of the fall clean-up. You’ve probably wrapped trunks of your deciduous trees with paper wrap to prevent sun-scald injury, a condition that develops when the warm winter sun is absorbed by the plant’s bark. And you’re probably still watering trees and shrubs, so they start the winter season off with enough moisture. Keep trees and shrubs stress-free by continuing to water every three to four weeks throughout the winter while temperatures are above freezing and the soil is not frozen. However, shrubs that are protected by a wall or house eaves are susceptible to drought damage regardless of weather conditions. Water them deeply every six to eight weeks only when the air temperature is above freezing and early in the day.

The first day of winter is still a few weeks away, but the weather has already produced winter storms full of blustery winds and freezing precipitation that could damage trees and shrubs in your yard. At this time of year, ice and snow that clings to any leaves still hanging can add enough weight to snap branches and punishing winds can bring the entire tree crashing to the ground.

Frigid Arctic air is already moving down from Canada into the U.S. and weather predictors are forecasting polar-vortex conditions for most of the country at least once during the winter of 2014. Even though brief cold snaps are unlikely to kill a tree, longer stretches of bone-tingling cold can do great damage, especially to young trees. Protect the root systems using burlap, straw or mulch as a blanket against temperature extremes and to retain moisture.

If a tree has indeed suffered damage during a storm, make sure to attend to it immediately. Use a chain saw to cut off damaged branches, or cut the tree down entirely. Cut the trunk into smaller pieces, then use a log splitter to ready the wood for the wood pile – and for cozy fires after the wood dries out. Or rent a wood chipper to make your own mulch and spread it under older trees for winter protection.

When temperatures drop below 20 degrees:

  • Shake heavy snow off shrubs and trees to keep branches from breaking or bending.
  • Leave snow at the base of plants for insulation.
  • Disconnect, drain and store garden hoses to prevent them from bursting.
  • Cover tender plants, anchor with weight and leave in place until warm weather returns.
  • Take potted plants inside – leave in the garage or in the house. If your have a greenhouse, keep the inside temperature above 35 degrees for plants to have a better chance at survival.
  • Try not to walk on lawn that’s not insulated by fallen snow, which can damage frozen grass.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with cleaning up and winterizing your yard. From chain saws to log splitters, wood chippers and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Fall Checklist, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s That Time of Year to Sharpen Your Blades and Chains

Sharpen your blades and chains this spring

Lawn mowers, trimmers and chain saws, oh my! When you open up your tool shed or garage for the first time this spring, this is probably what you’re looking at. And it feels great doesn’t it, getting ready for the new lawn mowing and yard-work season? Especially if you winterized your power tools last fall. If not, don’t worry – they are ready to be dusted off and spruced up. We know it!

Sharpening Blades and Chains

Keeping your blades and chains sharp is an important step in maintaining your power tools. A sharp blade and chain not only keep your equipment running smoothly, but they make yard work easier on you and your lawn. Not to mention, it’s much safer.

Sharpening blades and chains, and even replacing them, is not always the easiest do-it-yourself project. For one thing, it could require specialized tools. Both jobs use a file, and the lawn mower job may require a power grinder, blade balancer and precision. This is especially true when it comes to sharpening blades at proper angles. Care needs to be taken so the blade isn’t sharpened too much, or it will curl up as it gets dinged by pebbles and debris. Using coarse grit sandpaper for a quick sharpening will do in a pinch, but this method won’t smooth out any big nicks and dings in the blade.

The most precise way to sharpen a chain is by hand, using a file and a guide – if you have a lot of time that is. It also requires patience, especially when it comes to adjusting the height of depth gauges. Special equipment required would be an electric chain sharpener, which works as well as a new chain.

Since sharpening and replacing blades and chains are not as easily done at home, why not stop by our store so we can do it for you? Our in-house service department is full of pros! We offer a high degree of advice, expert instruction and in-store services that customers have come to expect. We carry thousands of tools, and our inventory is frequently updated. We even offer extended hours of operation, so lawn mowers, trimmers and chain saws can get serviced at your convenience. So come in and experience the Runyon Equipment Rental difference first hand!

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cut Down a Tree and Clear Foliage in 6 Easy Steps

Chain SawsOne usually associates work, such as tree felling, limbing, pruning branches and removing foliage as long, drawn out hard manual work. However, the use of a chainsaw speeds up the work considerably and makes it easier as well.

Chainsaw Types

The first action is to get yourself a chainsaw. Chainsaws come in many shapes and sizes, and the best one depends on the task to be done.

  • Bar Blade Chainsaws: Chainsaws with a bar type blade is best suited for basic tasks. For best output, the bar has to be at least a one third size longer than the tree or log.
  • Electric Chainsaws: These are best suited for small trimming tasks.
  • Gasoline Chainsaws: These are most suited for large-scale work, which require heavy felling and clearing.

When getting a chainsaw, select the one most appropriate for the task to be carried out.

Process of Pruning a Tree with a Chainsaw

  1. Sharpen the Blade: Regardless of the chainsaw selected, make sure to fine-tune the bar and ensure a sharp blade. For large scale work, it is a good idea to have a filing kit handy, to sharpen the blade as required in the midst of the work.
  2. Check for Obstructions: Before starting the actual work, estimate the felling zone for medium to large trees. If there is a shed or other immovable objects in the felling zone, the felling may have to be done in stages, starting from higher elevations.
  3. The Safest Way to Cut: It is safer to cut from either the top or bottom of the bar and chain, but avoid the kickback zone, which is the top half of the bar’s tip. If this zone comes in contact with something when the chainsaw is in motion, the saw kicks back, which can cause serious injury. As an added safety measure, grip the handle by encircling it with the thumb around the front part of the handle.
  4. Clear Outgrowth and Foliage First: Cut the branches, outgrowth and foliage first before aiming for the trunk. For big trees, cut the branches from bottom to top.
  5. Begin Cutting from the Left Side of the Trunk: It is a safe practice to work from the left side of the trunk, as it allows resting the side or bottom of the saw on the trunk and slicing off the branches with a pivoting motion.
  6. Cutting the Trunk: Cut the trunk by making a downward cut, one-third the diameter of the trunk. Cutting straight down through a trunk may cause the weight of the trunk to pinch the bar and stop the chainsaw.

A Word of Caution

Regardless of the type of chainsaw used, leave sufficient room for cutting. A chainsaw getting in the way of power lines, nearby cars and buildings, or any other obstructions can create a big mess, and turn out to be dangerous for the operator.

About the Author

Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.

Categories: Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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