You will know that your pruning shears need sharpened when they no longer make a clean cut. If you find that your shears are crushing, pinching or braking off branches, then you will know that you have waited too long to sharpen them. The first indicator that your shears are beginning to dull is that you will cut a branch, but the bark on the other side of the blade will often hold on to the branch that you are trying to remove, leaving a long strip of bark attached to the branch. It will look something like the image below.
|First Indicator of Dull Pruning Shears|
If your pruning shears are sharp they should cut branches clean and with little effort.
It is important that your shears are sharp and clean to minimize your trees exposure to disease. Broken, crushed, or bruised branches are more likely to get diseased then are branches that have been cut cleanly.
The winter months are a great time to clean and sharpen your tools so that they will be ready for the upcoming season. You can learn how to sharpen your pruning shears by following this link:
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