Pruning is one of the core activities in a garden of any size. From pruning the roses, to reining in the wisteria, from the Chelsea chop to pruning your hedges, there are many different methods and many different plants require specific tools according to where they are in your garden, how tall they are and how delicate they are too.

Pruning properly, with the proper tools, can have a huge impact on the health and vitality of a plant and can transform your wiry shrub into something brimming with colour and flowers.

How to prune

We have rounded up the principles of pruning here, where our pruning expert John Hoyland goes through why we prune and why we shouldn't be scared of pruning, as well as how to make the cut correctly and much more expert insight into the practise of pruning.

How to clean pruning tools

Let's not forget that keeping your pruning tools clean is a vital part of the pruning process. With dirty pruning tools, you're much more likely to spread diseases to fragile plants. Here's the best way of cleaning pruning tools, collated by Kristy Ramage and Daniel Back. And here's how to sharpen secateurs and how to sharpen your garden tools too.

The best pruning tools


Large Felco Model Secateurs

FELCO model 2 secateurs

Number one on your pruning tools list should be an excellent pair of secateurs. These are a gardener's go-to tool, and should be tucked into a back pocket or handy belt holder as soon as you leave the front door. Secateurs are useful for everything from deadheading to pruning back untidy shrubs, but you wouldn't want to use them for an extensive pruning job. Secateurs are great for tidying and managing. These large secateurs from Felco do the job very well and their grippy handles are perfect for a gardener in all weathers. You need a blade that's as sharp as they come, and easy to sharpen, and this pair are perfect in that respect.

Don't miss our round up of the best secateurs, with options for left handed gardeners too. And here's how to sharpen secateurs.

Pruning tools for trees

Pruning saws

Dapetz 21" Tapered Bow Saw

Dapetz Tapered Bow Saw

Pruning saws are for big woody pruning jobs that are just about manageable for one person and a saw. They are perfect for pruning small trees and wood, although make sure you can be careful with the blade and precise: you don't want the saw to cut gashes in your trees as that can cause them to pick up diseases. A pruning saw can also be helpful for cutting up wood too, and so you need to make sure your saw isn't too heavy, has a robust blade and can get into tricky angles. This pruning saw comes with six extra blades and it's easy to release the blade to replace them. It comes with a good handle too.

Telescopic pruners

Spear and Jackson Razorsharp Telescopic Tree Pruner

Spear and Jackson Razorsharp Telescopic Tree Pruner on white background

Telescopic pruners are a vital addition to your pruning tools collection if you have a lot of fairly high trees and shrubs and not much help. Telescopic pruners are very long, allowing you to control the chop from the bottom of the handle, and reach up with the blade to a high point on your tree or shrub. This telescopic pruner is capable of cutting through branches up to 30mm thick and has several extra saw options to extend your reach. In total, this pruner has a length of 570mm, which should do the job for most shrub and tree pruning jobs.

Below are our list of pruning tools round ups, with the tools we love the best and which are most value for money. To find out more about each of these types of pruning tool, click below.

Showing items 1 to 5 of 5

See more Pruning tools: the best tools for pruning


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London