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MisterBoy

Long-reach polesaw and hedge trimmer options for serious garden use?

Question

Hi, new member here. As a non-pro I figured I'd start off in this section... I have a large garden set in woodland with a lot of big, established trees. I also have two large leylandii hedges each of the order 12m tall and 25m long which I want to keep nicely maintained though we are likely going to get them reduced.

 

I like to do myself what I can, if I feel I can safely. I have a small Stihl saw and the PPE which is fine for small stuff at ground level but I am not interested in climbing trees and buying arborist saws... for the big stuff I have a local tree surgeon but it gets pricey having him come out to face up the hedges. I quite enjoy doing it as well.

 

I've looked into consumer-grade/semi-pro kit for long-reach saws and trimmers (Ryobi, Dewalt, etc) but they don't seem to be available beyond about 2.5m giving a cutting reach of ~4m. My tree surgeon has the Stihl HT 103 and HL 94 C which are super long reach and he says they are wonderful, but another level in terms of price. I reckon they will pay for themselves but if I want to go this route, are they the best option given I will not be using them day in day out?

 

I was recommended the Stihl electric stuff e.g. HLA 85 and HTA85 which seem a direct match to the petrol ones. I'm a fan of battery tech for my hand tools and even my regular strimmer and trimmer (Dewalt XR) but I have no experience with Stihl's. Seem to cost about the same as the petrol stuff all told, are they the same sort of build quality we expect from Stihl? For infrequent use, would electric reduce my maintainence?

 

Or are there other makes/models you'd recommend? I need proper long-reach stuff, which seems to mean I have to buy pro gear? It should be a good investment, right?

 

Sorry for long post! If you'd like photos I can provide some when the rain stops :)

Edited by MisterBoy

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The Stihl battery range is great. The added advantage is that once you've gone to the expense of purchasing the charger and batteries, the actual units themselves are quite competitively priced

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12m think you need some decent  ladders or reduce height alot. ?

 

Width is always an issue  also sometimes people don't realize this when they get hedges 6m across the top.

 

Leylandi doesn't grow from dead wood so may look ugly after a severe reduction though if it is just topped may be hidden.

 

IMG_2727.jpg

 

Makita battery garden stuff it good .

 

 

Edited by Stere
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10 minutes ago, Stere said:

12m think you need some decent  ladders or reduce height alot. ?

 

Width is always an issue  also sometimes people don't realize this when they get hedges 6m across the top.

 

Leylandi doesn't grow from dead wood so may look ugly after a severe reduction though if it is just topped may be hidden.

 

 

 

 

Yeah all good points. They were planted by a previous owner and clearly not looked after so trying to get on top of it now so they'll thicken up - as you say being careful not to cut back past green growth.

We had one of the hedges already dropped about 3m and faced up so that ones 8-10m (I need to check). The other one we had one section reduced amost 50% in height and it's survived OK, it looked weird for a year but is starting to improve.

 

Part of my question is that I might try to get the trees reduced in height to the point I can face them myself, but that means figuring out how high that is - they provide screening so I want them as tall as possible that I can still reach, if that makes sense. I'll probably get a platform as well.

I've not found anything longer than the Stihl ones, are Makita similar? I suppose with a high enough ladder/platform I wouldn't need such a long trimmer, but it makes the job a lot slower.

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Echo to a 3 stage extension, or used to. Be warned though its a beast to handle at full extension. You are also not supposed to use the 3rd extension with a hedge cutter attachment, just a chainsaw attachement, we used to however.

 

That was a while ago though, im not sure if this is still in their range, but worth a look. Hope you have decent shoulders

 

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WWW.ECHO-TOOLS.CO.UK

This 1.22m (4') extension pole can be fitted to the PPT-265ES long reach power pruner. It should only be used with the chainsaw attachment

 

Yeah as I mentioned, should only be used with a chainsaw attachment. I believe the hedgecutter messes up the clutch. Plus its quite an outlay if you're not going to be using it much

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I saw this range on Google, never come across it before. I reckon that's probably going a bit beyond both my budget and my capabilities. I wonder if weight is another consideration for battery VS petrol? 

 

The only long-reach tool I have is the Fiskar UP86 telescopic bypass pruner - at the tree surgeon's recommendation - and it's great and light. Compared to other things I tried it's clear ever gram makes a difference when you're waving it around 4m above your head!

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8 minutes ago, huskykev said:

New echo polesaw (petrol,5m) has a hedge trimmer head available for it, it’s not the lightest but they’re well built.

 

 

 

WWW.ECHOTOOLS.IE

ECHO tools website - machines for the professional user

A few people have mentioned Echo and I've seen it elsewhere on the forum too. Outside this section I'm assuming the forums are dominated by pro users, so Echo is up there with Stihl as a pro-grade tool? I'd never heard of them so in particularly I am curious about the engine, since Stihls have such a great reputation in that area.

 

On their website, the PPT-2620ES mentions the extension pole and also the HCAA-2402A LW HEDGE TRIMMER attachment, but that part says it is compatible with the ECHO PPT-265ES which is a dead link. Is that the older model pole-saw, and these parts all fit each other?

 

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Lateral thinking reply, ( alluded to by Stere ) have you room to get an access platform in, if you like them at the height they are? ( Or simply wish to lower them more easily with kit you have). One of my local hirers has now got a self propelled one, which sounds absolutely ace.  

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