is a form of long shears used in arboriculture for averruncating or pruning off the higher branches of trees, etc. The word averruncate (from Latin averruncare
, "to ward off, remove mischief") glided into meaning to weed the ground, prune vines, etc., by a supposed derivation from the Lat. ab
, "off", and eruncare
, "to weed out", and it was spelt aberuncate to suit this; but the New English Dictionary
regards such a derivation as impossible.
It has a compound blade attached to a handle between five and eight feet long. The blades are closed with a string and pulley, and they are opened with a spring.