My friend Miriam over at Mucky Boots Farm finally took my advice and got herself a good pair of pruners. Yay Miriam!! It reminded me that it's pruning season, and time to get out the Felcos and overhaul them.
My Felco secateurs are the first birthday present Steve ever got for me eleven years ago, and I still have them. (Not only that, I also know where they are.) Before I get out there with them, it's high time that I took them apart and gave them a good going over. Luckily, what anyone needs to know about maintaining your Felcos can be found here. Mine need to be taken apart and cleaned, and the blade needs to be checked and possibly sharpened, and then I need to put them back together again and tighten them down. They are a little overdue for maintenance and are not doing quite as clean a job of it as I'd like, but that's entirely my fault, and there is no reason they shouldn't be good as new after I deal with them.
The other thing about pruning season that deserves mention is that many articles indicate that you should dip your pruners in a solution of bleach and water between cuts to prevent plant diseases from being spread. I read the results of a study that found that bleach is not as effective a plant pathogen killer as was previously thought. The study did find something effective that most people can find just about anywhere. You want to know what it is?
Lysol Disinfectant Spray. It also has the added benefit of being a whole lot easier to lug around than a bucket of bleach solution.
I think that maybe for this year's birthday I'll ask for a pair of Felco loppers. Some extra leverage would be a good thing to have on some of the larger branches. Think about that, Miriam!