Boat Hook


Telescoping pole extends from 4 ft. to 8 ft.

I’ve found a boat hook to be surprisingly helpful in several ways when trimming trees in my back yard, usually with a pole saw:

  • If a cut-off branch falls onto another branch and stays there, it can be dislodged by shaking or yanking one or other of those branches with the hook. (This is also helpful after a windstorm.)
  • If a cut branch hangs by a strip of bark that wasn’t cut through, similar shaking or yanking can get it loose; or a helper can pull the hanging branch into a new position where the hinge is more easily accessible by the pole saw.
  • If a branch is inaccessible by the pole saw because of an intervening branch, a hook in the hands of a helper can pull the latter aside. Sometimes this shaking and shoving can be done by pushing with the backside of the hook, instead of pulling with it. This tool can also do small jobs that would otherwise require a ladder, like:
  • Shaking apples loose from an apple tree.
  • Lifting or manipulating a rope or wire (e.g., looping Xmas lights over a porch).

  • Clearing icicles or heavy snow from tree limbs that might break under their weight.
  • Clearing caterpillar cocoons or wasp nests (in winter) from trees or the edge of a roof.
  • Pushing or pulling something that it would be awkward or risky to get close to, such as a toy boat in a boat basin.

I forget where I got my hook from; it was over 30 years ago. Mine has a metal hook with pointed ends on the hook and the shaft. It might not even be a “boat hook,” but a barge-pole, or a who-knows-what. I haven’t found its exact match on Amazon. What I found is made of nylon (enabling it to float). It “telescopes” out from four feet to eight feet, so it can be shipped and stored compactly.


02/15/17 -- Roger Knights