Sterilizing saws


Aug 16, 2021
Harford county MD
What do you use to sterilize your handsaws, loppers, chainsaws, polesaws, etc before pruning? How do you apply it? I’ve been using isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.

Also how do you sterilize your gaffs before a spike prune?😉
typically I sterilize my pruning spurs with VP premix fuel
Id just use alcohol and a lint free towel to sterilize saws, once cleaned take the chains and throw them in a bucket of fresh clean bar oil to re-oil them
Do you cover each cut so spores don't land on the fresh wood?
absolutely not
especially no wound paint/tar type stuff, goes against every rule ive ever heard for pruning, I think my A300 book has a line about it even
I only use tar or paint as warrented. Large tear you dont want to dehydrate the tree from. We are really hot and dry here in summer. Preventing sun scald. Mistletoe removal.
If we were in a more damp climate, I would not as it will promote the perfect environment for fungus.
A lot of spores are already there before you paint the cut. As soon as the chain digs in the wood ( or any of other tool), it drags inside all the stuff present on and in the bark. The fibrous nature of the wood and its dampness are a perfect set to catch the tinny particules flying in the kerf.
The borrers don't like the paint, but that's all. The main dammages come from the fungi.
I’ve been using isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.
That's what we used between Elms when i was doing line clearance. Had it hanging in the bucket, squirt the trimsaw in between trees. I never heard of an instance where trees died and it came back onto irresponsible utility trimmers but the idea was scary enough that I disinfected vigilantly. Capture.PNG
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ohh ok, I have a bunch of ZEP bottles, work good till the spring in the trigger shits the bed and you gotta fight it all day
I dont use "Zep" bottles. They are garbage. I sometimes buy the 1 gallon ZEP disinfectant. I put what solutions I want into the 360* bottle that the feed store sells as they hold up better. I dont buy the pump spray bottles as they often break or fail.
When Citrus Canker was in Florida, we used a product specifically made to clean tools. The USDA in Florida was so impressed with our program of cleaning, they used us for an instructional video. Once that passed though I don’t think we are very good about the whole cleaning thing. 😳