by Steven Pitsenbarger
Garden Supervisor, Japanese Tea Garden (Golden Gate Park)
There are two tools that I use on a regular basis here at the Japanese Tea Garden.
The first is the Nishigaki N-375 long handled hedge shears (pictured above). It has an 8” blade that is good for shearing the boxwood, bamboo, and azaleas that we have in the garden. They make a much cleaner cut than electric or gas shears, which tend to tear the edges of leaves and branches. The sharp blades and light weight make this tool very efficient. I haven’t felt a need to use powered shears for many years now.
The tool I use everyday is the Okatsune 101 hand pruners.
I have these pruners on my belt everyday. They are smaller and lighter than Felco pruners so they fit in my hand comfortably. This results in less fatigue on my hands and joints.
The blade is sharp and holds its edge well. I can comfortably make larger diameter cuts with the Okatsune as opposed to Felco or ARS pruners. The catch is at the bottom of the handle so I can open and close it against my thigh for one handed operation.