When it comes to pruning season, trimming and shaping trees and shrubs with thick, woody growth can feel like a daunting task. While your secateurs and other essential gardening tools may not be up to the task, a strong pair of anvil garden loppers is more than capable of tackling tougher trimming jobs. Used with with both hands their long handles make them ideal for cutting branches up to 50mm thick and if you’re pruning dense dead wood, then a pair of loppers with an anvil blade is the tool for you. Cuts are made as the top blade slices through the wood onto the flat anvil base. They can crush stems as they cut and although bypass blades make cleaner, more precise cuts, anvil blades have greater force. They are ideal for clearing dead branches and making the first cut on thick branches before removing them cleanly with bypass loppers or a saw. Loppers are available with telescopic handles that extend for greater reach and most have an additional cutting mechanism to help you cut thicker wood with less effort, helpful for those with less strength and for very tough wood.
If you’re pruning larger branches, take a look at our review of the best pruning saws or for smaller cuts our round up of the best secateurs. For help clearing up see our test of the best shredders, best splitting axes and the best wheelbarrows.
We also have guides detailing how to prune fruit trees in winter and pruning mistakes to avoid, as well as information on other tools such as the best Japanese gardening tools and how to use them.
Best anvil loppers to buy at a glance
Best Buy telescopic lopper: Wolf Garten Telescopic lopper
Best Buy for general use: Fiskars Power Gear X anvil lopper LX9
Best Buy for ease of use: Darlac Compact Compound anvil
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A good pair of garden shears can make garden tasks quick and easy to tackle. They’re essential for the proper care of hedges, shrubs, and lawns, helping to keep them in tip-top condition. Unlike secateurs, which are designed for pruning single branches, garden shears can tackle several branches or blades of grass at once. There are a couple of different types –
We often hear from Cherry Ong when she’s traveling to visit a marvelous public garden, but today she’s letting us in to see her home garden in Richmond, British Columbia. She says that she’s learned to love fall and is sharing the beauty of her shade garden with pictures she took in early October.
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