Pruning Tools

Hand pruners

Use: Used to prune small (less than 3/4”diameter) branches. Great for jobs where the branch to cut is near your torso like for vines.
How to use:  Hold the branch with one hand and with the other place the cutting end near the base of the bra
nch and cut by squeezing the handles together.
Care:  Clean after each cut to reduce dulling of the blade.  Wipe with a cloth to remove plant sap. Do not try to cut larger branches.

Hedge shears

Use:  Used to trim and shape bushes with young branches (less than ¼” diameter).  Use quick motion to trim. 
How to use: 
grip the handles firmly with both hands and then close like scissors while trimming only the tips of the plants branches.  Open and repeat as necessary.
Care:  Not for use on larger branches clean blades with cloth after each cut.


Use:  Used to prune small –medium branches off the trunk of a tree or shrub.  Branches absolutely NO LARGER than 1.5”.  Larger branches can cause the loppers to break at the cutting area
How to Use:  grip the handles firmly with both hands, pull the handles apart and place around the branch to cut, close and the branch should nicely cut.  If the branch is not cutting easily do not force it move on to a saw.

Care:  wipe clean after each cut and store closed for safety purposes

Pruning Saw

Use: This usually has a curved blade and is used to prune larger branches in tight spots. 
How to use: Make a cut under the branch about 3” away from the trunk of the tree about 1/4th the way through and then make a second cut, closer to the trunk, from the top of the branch all the way through. This saw usually cuts on the pull stroke and is easier to use.

Care:  wipe clean after each use and store covered in a sheath to prevent injury.

Pole Saw

Use: Used to prune branches that are high on the tree.  The saw is on the top and a string helps to cut the branch.
How to use:  Place the pole saw on the branch to cut. Make sure no one is in the way before cutting. Then use the string and pull until the branch is loose and remove the trimmed branch.

Care: Use extreme caution, eye and head protection when using this tool.

Bow Saw

Use: This is usually for large branches that are too large for a pruning saw. 
How to Use:  Use where there is enough room for movement so that the tree is not damaged. Cut back and forth holding on to the bow and not the blade.

Care:  wipe blade clean after each use, if blade is dull ask for a replacement.


Shovels come with two different types of handles the straight handle and the shorter D-handle.  The straight handle gives great leverage when moving large amounts of dirt and rocks out of the ground.  The D-Handle gives more maneuverability when digging. 

Round point shovel

Use:  This shovel is used to dig holes and to penetrate into hard materials (soil).
How to use:  Hold the shovel and push into the soil in a scooping motion when starting holes.  Then begin to cut into the soil by holding the shovel perpendicular to the ground and forcing it into the earth.  Use the handle to help lift the loosened soil and pick up.  Place removed dirt into a pile close by.  Continue until the size hole desired has been reached.

Care:  Remove dirt and debris from shovel head.  Make sure there are not any dings on the head if there are ask for a file to fix.

Square Point Shovel

Use: This shovel is used to move material from a pile, this is not for digging.  Mostly used as a scoop
How to use:  Hold parallel to the ground at the top of the pile of material and then scoop up and place where needed.

Care:  Wipe clean after each use

Rakes and Hoes

Garden Rake

Use: This has hard tines (teeth) that are used to spread around dirt, rocks or mulch. 
How to use:  Hold the handle with one hand forward and one towards the end of the handle.  Gently push and pull the rake to gently spread the material.  If trying to make a pile rake with a pulling motion across your body to make work easier.

Care:  Remove dirt clods and wipe with a clean cloth.  

Leaf Rake

Use: This has flexible tines that are perfect to quickly clean up leaves. 
How to Use:  hold the rake as you would a broom and sweep across the ground to lift fallen leaves and other debris onto the tines and pull into a pile.

Care:  when finished remove any debris remaining on the tines and put away

Garden Hoe

Use: Used to gently remove young weeds with a push and pull action.  Also used to make furrows for planting of seedlings in the ground.
How to Use.  Hold the flat side of the head parallel to the ground and pull towards you knocking down the weed.  Then push back and then the weed will be removed.

Care:  clean off the head of dirt and then put away.

Posthole digger

Use:  This is used to make round holes for placing of posts or other straight items. 
How to use:  Push straight into the soil and then pull apart the handles to remove the soil.  Repeat until the desired width and depth has been reached.

Care:  clean off dirt and put away

Weed Cutter

Use: A manual weed whacker.
How to Use: Use in a side to side motion holding the blade parallel to the ground and swinging across your body in front of you to cut weeds down. 

Care:  clean the blade after each use


Use: Used to loosen soil, remove weeds and allow for fertilization of plants and trees. 
How to use: Use similar to a hoe for removing weeds. Tines may be dug into the earth to allow for aeration of the soil and fertilization.

Care:  Remove any dirt clods and clean the tines after each use.

Hand Tools


Use:  Used to dig out tap-rooted weeds by forcing them out.  Long stick with forked end that can slice the root
How to use:  Slide the forked end along the root and push up.  The weed and root should be removed.  If you have difficulty try to pull out the weed or try again.

Care:  Clean off dirt and store


Use: Used to dig small holes to plant seedlings.  Normally used for transplanting of plants into larger containers or for digging in the ground in small areas
How to use:  use as you would use a child’s sand shovel but with dirt and fill flower pots.

Care:  Remove dirt and check for dents

Hand cultivator

Use:  Used to weed and loosen soil in small areas.  Ideal for home gardening
How to use:  use similar to the cultivator, and make sure your back and knees are in proper alignment.

Care: clean off the dirt and store

Power tools

Weed Whacker

Use:  Used to quickly cut weeds in small areas.  Can have a blade or string that rotates to cut the weeds.  MUST USE EYE PROTECTION when using. 
How to Use:  Start motor once you have reached the area where you will work then using a back and forth motion cut the offending weeds.

Care:  Replace string or blade as needed, store upright and remove grass clippings from the body.

Transport equipment


Use: This is a tool to move materials from one location to another.  Usually slightly awkward to move but more maneuverable on certain surfaces. 
How to Use:
fill the wheelbarrow with materials to move.  Lift the handles to your waist and push the wheelbarrow.  Do not overfill or it could tip.

Care:  Clean out after each use.   NOT FOR PEOPLE TO RIDE

Garden Cart

Use: This sturdy four-wheeled cart is great for moving tools, materials and water to different locations easily.  This is only for moving materials NOT for PEOPLE.
How to use:
  fill with material to be moved then pull behind you using the handle.  At steep grades make sure that the cart does not fall on you by turning it around and go backward.

  Do not ride on the cart and clean out after each use.

Other useful items

Gloves (plastic or leather)

Protects hands from germs or from thorns.   Please clean off leather gloves before storing so that they are ready for the next person.


Use:  To contain items such as weeds, garbage, and other materials.  When full tie the bag closed, by tying one side closed and then take the other side and tie again.  Do not overfill, you will break the bag.
:  do not drag the bag or overfill, you will have to rebag contents and waste time.


Use: To protect eyes from flying debris
How to use:  Fully cover eyes with goggles and begin to work.  Flying debris will not get into your eyes and damage them.

  Wipe off any condensation/sweat and wash off dirt

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