Category Archives: Tools

All I want for Christmas……

If you have a gardener in your life that is obsessed with pruning and you don’t know what to get them I have some help for you.  Some of these I have but some are on my list as well. I have pulled this information off of Niwaki.com which is a British import company run by Jake Hobson.  He has selected the finest Japanese pruning implements and made them available in Europe and here in the States.  Visit his website to purchase any of these items.  He has also written a book called Niwaki that goes over the Japanese approach to pruning and training which is both useful and fascinating.

If you have spent your whole life pruning with a four legged ladder like I had then you have no concept of how much better life can be.  This is the lightest ladder I have ever worked with.  Not only that, but it is incredibly sturdy and the adjustable tripod leg allows you to get into places that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.  Your life will be even more worth living after this purchase.

Hand pruners are probably the first tool a gardener buys.  I started out with Felco 2s that were great.  I then moved to the Okatsune hand pruners which were even better; then I found these Tobisho Pruners.  I wrap these in a cashmere cloth every night before I go to bed.  Their weight and how well they hold an edge is amazing.  The lock at the bottom keeps you from accidentally locking while pruning.  These are a must have for Topiary and intricate pruning work.

If you ever find yourself work on a clouding or topiary and can’t get the angle you need, or the pruning shears are just too damn big then this is a gift for you (I always buy myself presents too).  These are also made by Tobisho and are basically a single hand shear.  I had always used sheep shears.  Stop torturing yourself; this will make intricate pruning itself enjoyable instead of just the result.  

I am sure that many of you have a good pair of Okatsune shears.  They have become more available over the years but are a great heavy duty everyday pair of shears.  These get the most use of anything in my pruning arsenal.

So far these are the only item listed  I don’t have.  There are nights I wake up thinking about these.  These are Tobisho’s shears.  They are made for clouding and shaping specifically vs. hedge pruning.  I could send a child to a year of school for what they cost but who needs and education when you can cloud like a master.  If you have enjoyed my blog over the last few months I suggest these for a thank you…..

Camellia Oil! I wondered what in the hell this was for and how it could be any better than my WD-40.  But alas I was wrong.  This is the finest lubricant I have used.  It goes on my pruners, shears, knives, etc…. this would be perfect in a stocking.

None of these are any good if you don’t keep them sharp.  This is the way to do it with, the Swiss Istor.  It is very easy to use and does a fantastic job.

Last but hardly least is Jake’s book.  If you want to understand how to use all of these, how to look and dress like a Japanese gardener, or some of the very interesting history and concepts behind the art of Japanese pruning and training then this is the book for you.  Order from his website and he’ll even sign it for you.

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