Gardening: Tool Box: Pruning trees at pole's length

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ALL I KNOW about David Everett (1769-1813) is that he wrote the frequently quoted line about tall oaks growing from little acorns. His words ran through my head while testing Sandvik's P134 tree lopper, which was doing its high-altitude stuff at the end of a telescopic aluminium pole, all of three metres long.

This may inspire visions of a gardener with arms considerably longer than an orang-utan's, so I should explain that the spring-

assisted cutters are operated by pulling a cord whose toggle handle enables plenty of strength to be used without fingers being hurt.

The cutters are of the by- pass type. They are easy to place and work well, but the lopper's weight (and the law of levers) inevitably makes your arms ache in the not- so-long run.

That said, this cutter-and-pole combination is a safer and more convenient alternative to clambering up a ladder while armed with a saw.

The pruner is listed at pounds 29.09, while the pole's recommended retail price is pounds 31.18.

Securing the former to the latter should have been one of the simplest of tasks, but it turned out that neither of the bolts was quite long enough to do the job properly.

Sandvik Ltd, Manor Way, Halesowen, West Midlands B62 8QZ (021 550 4700).