‘Keeping the Wolf from the door’ is a saying and probably an action we are all familiar with but last weekend I was glad to see my brother ‘bring the wolf to the door’. He lent me his Wolf telescopic pole saw, so I could take some biggish limbs off my old apple tree. It’s one of those jobs that I have been meaning to do for a couple of years and just not got around to it, mainly because it’s not easy. The tree isn’t good to climb (I never need much of an excuse to do that), the ground falls away steeply under it and there is a whole load of shrubs, stone walls and steps preventing ladder access. (I’d rather climb a tree than a ladder anyway.) It was also one of those jobs that gets done when I feel like it rather than when the text books advices so it is pure luck that I am still within the winter pruning time-frame, although it made sense to tackle it before it was in leaf again.
As well as being a bit smug as I can now cross it off my ‘to do’ list, I have chosen to write about it this week purely to sing the praises of Wolf tools. I am very much old-tool lover, which is why most of my gardening tools come from Tools For Self-Reliance. I adore their much-used and much-loved recycled tools; I even have some that I will probably never use but just like to have about. My brother on the other hand, other than still using my Dad’s spade which is now like a half moon, is a ‘wolf man’. I don’t mean he has a hairy face and pointed ears (though now I mention it ….) but when it comes to garden tools he has long sung the praises of the Wolf interchangeable tool system. You simply buy your yellow handle (in three different lengths) which is also easy to spot amongst other tools in the back of a truck or shed, and then simply buy the different attachments for it from a brush, to a rake or an apple picker to a pole saw. There is also a similar range for hand tools – one handle and lots of different attachments.
It’s a cool system though previously I have probably viewed it as a bit of a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’, but I have to say that the extending pole and saw system were awesome. The saw blade is designed to cut when you pull back so you don’t even have to exert a lot of pressure which is just as well when it is 9 ft above your head. It is like using the extendable pruner or lopper, like using your brain on a stick, as you have to focus on the end of the tool not the end of your arm but once you get the hang of it the only issue is the strength need to keep the whole thing up in the air. Once I got the hang of it all, I actually managed to remove two boughs that were the size of my thigh; it took a little while and I had a few whiffs but it did the job. I really can’t recommend it enough. And once the bigger stuff was cut out , I simply changed the saw for the pruning head to nip off the little shoots.
So now it looks as though this Lone Wolf will have to get her own Wolf!
Taken from Lynne Allbutt’s column for the Abergavenny Chronicle 16th February 2012