What is the Difference Between Echo vs Stihl Chainsaw?

When we think of buying a chainsaw, we should consider what we’re looking for in the first place. Aside from quality construction and performance, how can we pick among a variety of models? Well, we’re here to help you out if it’s difficult to pick between an Echo vs Stihl chainsaw.

Both Echo and Stihl are known for making great power tools products, but each of them has a trick up their sleeve. Once we’ve identified the strengths of both brands, you’ll be able to pick the right chainsaw for your wood-cutting and limb-pruning needs.

Echo Chainsaws

Echo chainsaw

An Echo chainsaw is manufactured with the intent of being extremely durable. From breaking firewood into pieces or felling a huge tree, chainsaws from this brand are easy to use while providing smooth performance over the years.

To ensure a superior yet lightweight performance, Echo chainsaws utilize a Pro-Fire ignition system and a two-stroke engine, which achieves a complete power cycle with just two piston movements. Thanks to this internal combustion engine, the Echo chainsaw’s moving parts are significantly reduced. Thus, Echo chainsaws can take advantage of a compact design while still functioning as a powerful cutting tool.

For added comfort even with regular use, Echo also employs a vibration reduction technology. As the name of this feature implies, your body will not suffer from the constant shaking resulting from operating chainsaws.

Moreover, Echo does not tolerate ordinary manufacturing materials. Instead, the company only makes chainsaws using professional-grade components. Echo knows that chainsaws are quite the investment, and they don’t want potential customers to worry about the long-term reliability of their products.

Echo chainsaws can be enhanced and secured with a variety of accessories and parts. From sharpening files and kits to 16-inch double guard bars, you won’t have to look for replacement parts that are not primarily created for Echo chainsaws. If you ever have any queries about using these tools, Echo always has an included guide with each chainsaw purchase.

Stihl Chainsaws

Stihl chainsaw

Similar to Echo, the Stihl brand values ease of use, stellar performance, and sturdiness. Due to their principles, they’ve managed to maintain a good reputation around the world for nearly a century. After all, Stihl chainsaws are a combination of German engineering and American manufacturing excellence.

In fact, Stihl doesn’t outsource materials needed for making their chainsaws. Instead, they develop their own unique guide bars and saw chains. In turn, their design and performance standards are always perfect due to their in-house manufacturing components.

Consequently, Stihl opts for variety in power and function. Whether you are just collecting firewood or toppling down several trees in a single day, Stihl chainsaws should do the job. You can choose models featuring power ratings ranging from just 1.3 kW to as high as 6.4 kW.

Similarities and Differences

First, let’s look at the availability of Echo chainsaws compared to Stihl chainsaws. If you go to popular stores such as The Home Depot and even to your local independent dealer, you will find an Echo chainsaw. On the other hand, Stihl chainsaws cannot be found in the stores of home-improvement companies. Thus, you’ll only find them in the stores of independent retailers numbering around 8,000.

In terms of the features, both of these chainsaw manufacturers use automatic chain lubrication and kickback reduction. Thanks to the initial feature, the chainsaw gets the right amount of oil depending on the chainsaw speed. The latter feature saves you the trouble of dealing with continuous rattling during operations.

The difference in features lies in the fact that Stihl chainsaws only have chain brakes while Echo has brakes along with plastic kickback guards. This gives Echo a slight advantage in safety, but not everyone is pleased with the plastic guard that can accidentally hinder sawing operations.

If you’re searching for the best warranty, Echo chain saws have one lasting five years. In contrast, Stihl chain saws only have a one-year warranty. One disadvantage of Echo chain saws, however, is that they arrive unassembled, unlike their Stihl counterparts.

Here’s a video that compares the two brands:

We hope that our guide helps you in choosing the right chain saw for your property. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a comment.


The post What is the Difference Between Echo vs Stihl Chainsaw? appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

Favorite Furniture: Sustainable Teak from an Italian Designer

When we recently asked members of the Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory to name their favorite outdoor furniture lines, two designers called our attention to a line of sustainable teak furniture available worldwide under two different names: Synthesis from Unopiù in Italy, and Serene from Henry Hall Designs in the US.

Designed by Italian Marco Dolcino, it’s manufactured in Italy by Unopiù using teak from sustainable plantations in Indonesia. It’s the “all-time favorite” of LA-based interior designer Wendy Haworth, and San Francisco-based landscape architect Scott Lewis is also a fan: “They have a relaxed form and are very comfortable.”

For pricing and purchasing information, contact Unopiù or Henry Hall Designs.

Cafe Gratitude by Wendy Haworth | Gardenista

Above: Haworth used the Synthesis Chair from Unopiù in the patio seating area of Café Gratitude in LA’s Newport Beach. “I love all the pieces,” she says. “The chairs are sturdy and comfortable, and there’s an optional cushion but it’s not necessary.” Photograph by Nicole LaMotte courtesy of Wendy Haworth.


Above: Scott Lewis nestled four Serene Lounge Chairs from Henry Hall around a firepit in a drought-tolerant landscape in the Napa Valley. Photograph by Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture.

Teak Outdoor Furniture Synthesis from Unopiu / Serene from Henry Hall | Gardenista

Above: The Two-Way Chaise Sofa quickly converts into an adjustable chaise lounge at both ends. (It’s called the Sofa Lettino at Unopiù.)

In addition to the teak wood, the Synthesis/Serene line is made with Waprolace, a handwoven synthetic fiber that is waterproof and fully recyclable.

Teak Outdoor Furniture Synthesis from Unopiu / Serene from Henry Hall | Gardenista

Above: The Chaise (Unopiù’s Stackable Sun Lounger) is shown here with the Rectangle Side Table (Unopiù’s Coffee Table with Handles).

Cushions are available for most pieces in off-white, beige, and custom colors.

Teak Outdoor Furniture Synthesis from Unopiu / Serene from Henry Hall | Gardenista

Above: The lounger adjusts to six different positions and is available with optional cushions and a headrest.

Best Amateur Garden 2017: A Backyard Cabana in Omaha by Andrew Tatreau

The winner of the 2017 Gardenista Considered Design Awards Best Amateur Landscape is Andrew Tatreau for his Nebraska Cabana in Omaha.

The project was chosen as a finalist by Gardenista editor Michelle Slatalla, who said: “A cleverly designed slatted cabana adds shade and serenity to a sunny garden.”

N.B. This is the sixth of eight posts spotlighting the winners of the 2017 Gardenista Considered Design Awards. Go to this year’s Considered Design Awards page to see all the entries, finalists, and winners, and to have a look at the Remodelista Considered Design Awards.

Above: “This whole project was an exercise in resourcefulness. The only new materials were the wood for the structure and the chair cushions/palette sofa padding. I layered three 3-inch-thick foam mattress toppers covered in a waterproof mattress cover and Restoration Hardware linen curtain ($8 at Goodwill).”

Andrew Tatreau’s Design Statement: “The concept for my cabana spawned from my realization that I never spent leisure time in my shadeless, open yard. I wanted to create a space that facilitated intimate social gatherings, and it’s far exceeded my expectations. My dad helped me set the posts/roof and I did everything else.”

Above: “I rent this house and, as a result, I’m forced to work within the constraints of existing structural components that I’m unwilling to invest in (the existing back porch, and aging concrete). Making the best of the covered area, I installed a scrap marble bar and made the hammock secluded.”

Q: Where do you live?
A: I live in a shotgun house (built in 1888) in Omaha’s Little Italy neighborhood on a 35-by-130-foot lot. When I moved in, my yard was all grass; shadeless, with full exposure to east, south, and west-facing sunlight. Perfect for a sun-loving garden, but not ideal for outdoor leisure.

Above: “My garden is a mixture of edible herbs/veggies and native prairie wildflowers. I broke up slabs of scrap marble and used them as pavers, surrounded by pea gravel.”

Q: What were your practical goals for the project?
A: My goal was to create a secluded outdoor space that facilitated intimate social gatherings that also served as a place of personal refuge and relaxation. I also wanted the cabana to be a cohesive part of the entire backyard garden rather than an independent structure.

Above: “My garden in July. Hyacinth beans cover the cabana, adding shade and privacy from south-facing light.”

Q: What solutions did you find to your design problems?
A: Blending windows with the slatted wood design blurred the line between indoor and outdoor structure. Placing vining plants around the cabana, and having them become a part of the design, makes one feel both connected to and protected by the surrounding garden.

Above: “All of the seating was found secondhand for under $50. The glass and travertine table was $10 at Habitat ReStore. The other travertine table was $15.”

Q: What are your favorite features of the project?
A: I like how the garden layout sparks curiosity and exploration in the friends and family who experience it for the first time. One of my two top favorite features is the way in which the garden evolves so rapidly throughout the season, and consequently how that transforms the physical appearance and emotional feel of the cabana. In May and June, sunlight warmly peeks through the slats, making the space feel warm and rejuvenating. From July through August, the cabana becomes a secluded and shaded sanctuary from the intensely hot and humid Nebraska summers. The best part about my garden is how it transports me to a magical, nondescript place.

Valley Views: A Landscape Among the Treetops in Portola Valley, CA

In Portola Valley, California—a forested, wealthy enclave just south of San Francisco, architect Malcolm Davis set to work expanding a midcentury modern, pitched roof house for a young couple and their growing family. But from the outset Davis and his clients were committed to preserving a single specimen oak tree that was integral to the character of the site.

The original house didn’t take advantage of the hillside site and the striking valley views it afforded, so during the remodel the ground floor was lowered by six feet. Stilts now support an upper floor. Despite the huge undertaking, “the reason we didn’t tear the house down and start over was that we didn’t want to lose that tree,” said the architect. “It was the genesis of the design, and the house was built around it.”

Davis—a member of the Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory—had the grounds re-landscaped and replaced dysfunctional decks and stairways with a simplified set of connecting bridges, a single outdoor stair, and a wraparound deck to take advantage of the sweeping views. The swimming pool and its flagstone patio were in good shape, and Davis added an indoor/outdoor “lanai” and a generous ipe wood patio for outdoor dining. Let’s take a closer look.

N.B.: Today on Remodelista, we’re featuring the interiors of the house.

Photography by Joe Fletcher, courtesy of Malcolm Davis Architect.

Above: On the ground floor of the guest wing, a “lanai” opens onto the outdoor dining porch and pool. The top floor is an art studio for one of the homeowners, who has a background in graphic design.
Above: The lanai serves as an indoor/outdoor lounge when the homeowners are entertaining.
Above: An outdoor dining table with Bertoia dining chairs sits on the water-resistant ipe wood deck, which has cutouts to accommodate a pair of existing trees.

The new decks, bridges, and stairway all float above the ground, anchored only by light footings to avoid disturbing the roots of the prized oak tree.

Above: An ipe-and-steel bridge connects the main wing of the house to the guest quarters and art studio, and links the art studio directly to the outdoor spaces.

One of the architect’s favorite features of the house is its cladding in two unusual materials: the Cor-ten corrugated steel shown here, and the shou sugi ban siding on the main wing, shown below.

Above: At night, the guest wing glows like a lantern.

Succulent Design: Hanging Pots and Bold Boulders

My latest YouTube releases illustrate the wide range of possibilities inherent in designing with succulents.

In Pairing Succulents with Hanging Pots, you’ll meet Alicia Iraclides of Potted Arts in Fallbrook, CA. I select and plant several of her pots and explain why they’re a perfect match for succulents. (Hint: Those copper hooks! Those glazes! The carved details!)

Video, pairing succulents with hanging pots

In Sharon’s Sun and Shadow Succulent Garden, I ditch a party to explore the host’s garden. Sharon Cook’s Santa Fe-style home and her property’s immense boulders serve as glorious backdrops for succulents large and small. See what the guests who stayed inside missed!

Succulent Boulder garden

Want to be notified as soon as I release a new video? Subscribe to my YouTube channel. 

Why Can’t It Just Work?

This is a test to see if MailChimp is sending out an email notification after I publish a new post. It didn’t send out one after I published New Plants Blooming in August, or Rescuing the Madonna Lily, or What’s Blooming in My Damp Meadow. If you signed up for email notifications, I hope you are getting notice of this via email. It should leave MailChimp at 4am on August 21, 2017. If you just happened to stumble upon it without getting your email notice, please know that I am trying to fix it.

This is also a test to see if links to my blog posts are showing up properly on Facebook.

When I’m done troubleshooting these problems, I will take down this post. Gladly.

Ever since I moved to a new server, WordPress has worked but everything that WordPress talks to has stopped listening. Why, why, why can’t everything just work?

Getting Some Air …. Plants


Inspired by my visit to Steve Edney’s garden at Sweetbriar, where a striped bromeliad sat astride the branches of an old cordyline, I decided to look beyond the terrestrial and think about what I could grow in my own trees at The Watch House. I am accustomed to seeing ferns nestled in the boughs of mossy trees in Devon and Cornwall, but this is a rare occurrence as far east as Thanet. Here, rainfall is half of that in the west, ruling out the cultivation of anything averse to drought either in the ground or above it. I needed plants that would cope with dry weather, have instant impact, live outside in summer and that would not be too much trouble to look after.

Having stumbled upon an excellent article on growing bromeliads outdoors in the UK, I decided to find out more about tillandsia, commonly known as air plants. The author of the article, Dr. Maciej Pomian-Srzednicki gardens at ‘Southern Comfort’ in Torquay. He clearly knows his stuff and shares his knowledge freely and fully on his website pomian.co.uk. Based on experience in his mild coastal garden he recommends two species of tillandsia – T. aeranthos and T. bergeri – for both hardiness and robustness. Tillandsia hail from Central and Southern America and many are adapted to arid environments, especially those species with foliage that appears silvery. Epiphytic tillandsia – those that live without soil – have roots purely to anchor themselves in position. They take in all the air, water and nutrients they need through their leaves.


A clump of Tillandsia aeranthos offered to me by Crafty Plants


The following day I got in touch with Crafty Plants, a small, specialist air plant nursery in the North West of England. They listened carefully to my requirements and asked for some photos of the proposed tree host, a shaggy-barked Lyonothamnus floribundus subsp. aspleniifolius. I thought the silver-grey tillandsia would provide an interesting contrast to the faded reddish bark of the tree, also known as Catalina or Santa Cruz ironwood.

A weekend passed and back came Alex from Crafty Plants with photographs showing generous clumps of T. aeranthos and T. bergeri, in doing so corroborating Dr Pomian-Srzednicki’s recommendations. I settled on a large clump of T. bergeri and a slightly smaller clump of T. aeranthos, endeavouring to achieve a compromise between expense, my lack of expertise and a desire for instant impact.


Tillandsia bergeri


Tillandsia bergeri comes from Argentina and grows naturally at high altitude. It is considered ‘adaptable’, which is ideal given we need to learn how to get along with one another. T. bergeri also produces offsets throughout the year, meaning it quickly creates an impressive clump. When it flowers, the petals emerge violet from pink stems. The plant I received (above) still had a spent flower spike attached, giving me hope that it might not be long before another is produced.


Tillandsia bergeri in situ
Tillandsia aeranthos


Tillandsia aeranthos produces darker blue flowers from a pink spike. In Latin America they are charmingly known as ‘Claveles del aire’ (‘carnations of the sky’). T. aeranthos is one of the hardiest airplants and the most commonly recommended for growing outside in sheltered, frost-free gardens. It’s another generous clumper.


Tillandsia aeranthos in situ
Tillandsia albida


When my parcel arrived the following day I was delighted to discover that a small clump of Tillandsia albida had been included free of charge. T. albida is one of the palest tillandsia and prefers bright, warm positions. It’s native habitat is Northern Mexico, which has very few similarities with Broadstairs. However, it’s also billed as ‘adaptable’ so I will give it my best shot. In the wild T. albida grows as either an epiphyte or is saxiphytic – i.e. it grows on rocks. When the plants produce flowers from deep crimson spikes they are cream, which is a rarity for tillandsia. I’ve attached my bonus plant to one of the exposed stems of Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ where it will catch more sun than the other two species.


Tillandsia albida in situ


Happily each tillandsia arrived with a length of soft metal wire already attached. I secured them to their hosts without delay, anxious not to keep them in the box or the house for too long. Dr Pomian-Srzednicki recommends using cable ties to fix tillandsia in position, but as no-one in Broadstairs sells the clear kind, I went with the wire and tried to disguise it as much as possible. One piece of advice I did not adhere to was fastening them upside down to prevent rain sitting in the leaf rosette and causing it to rot. Where I have positioned them there is quite a pronounced rain shadow, so they should not get soaked very often. This morning, for the first time, I sprayed my tillandsia with bottled water. Tap water in these parts would have far too many additives for it to be palatable to air plants, which like only like pure rain water or dew.


Great contrasts between bark and foliage


How will my tillandsia fare? Well, I will keep you posted. Attached securely and in a position where they receive dappled shade for most of the day they should be fine. I have half an eye on the family of magpies that live in the tree, but so far they seem disinterested. They’ve probably never been to Central or Southern America and don’t know what they are looking at. Neither have I, but I do know they have done the trick in terms of bringing some interest to a corner of the garden I have neglected to reinvent for some time. I will bring the tillandsia indoors when the temperature drops in autumn as these fine plants are much too valuable to be taking risks with ….. and I am putting money on this winter being a lot colder than the last two. TFG.


If you are interested in growing tillandsia indoors or out, I could heartily recommend my experience with Crafty Plants.


All my new tillandsia in situ





That’s more like it!

As predicted a couple of days ago, my Runner Beans (“Scarlet Emperor”) have responded to the wetter conditions and begun to produce pods in greater quantity.

In that trug there’s just over a kilogram of beans (1019g to be precise!). In other words, about enough to serve the two of us four times.

They are not huge beans, and that’s because I don’t allow them to get too big. Runner Beans that have grown over-large are very unpleasant. They develop a fibrous inner membrane between the pod and the actual beans, which is extremely tough and chewy, with a texture much like plastic! Harvesting the beans small means a lower yield in terms of weight, but they will be far superior in terms of quality. Regular readers will remember that this year I am focussing very much on quality before quantity!

The Runner beans will soon be augmented by a few French Beans, from the plants I put into pots used earlier this year for potatoes.

Dwarf French Bean “Processor”

The French Bean plants don’t look too impressive, being quite small and with pale leaves, but I think this is because the soil in those pots is a bit tired after hosting the spuds. Before planting the beans I added some pelleted chicken manure, and just recently I have given the plants a feed of liquid “Growmore” general-purpose plant food, so they ought to be doing all right.

Still, the fact that these plants are right outside my window means that I can keep a close eye on them and pick them at the perfect stage. There will be enough for one or two uses from each pot, and I have 3 pots sown with beans a week apart.


Specimen Polygonum baldschuanica with white flowers
How to grow Polygonum baldschuanica

Commonly known as the ‘Russian vine’ or ‘mile-a-minute vine’, Fallopia baldschuanica (previously and still widely known as Polygonum baldschuanicum) is an extremely vigorous deciduous climber native to most notably China, Russia and Kazakhstan. It is often found for sale in garden centres but truth be told it is not a particularly suitable plant for suburban gardens due to its rapid and difficult to contain growth. So vigourous is it that some may consider it to be little more than an invasive weed.

It is widely grown for its one redeeming feature which is its ability to quickly hide unsightly fences and other garden structures, and some even believe that it can look particularly attractive when trained into trees, old stumps and bare banks. The blooms are not particularly appealing to me, but are known to be a good provider of nectar and pollen for honey bees.

Polygonum baldschuanica white flowers
How to grow Polygonum baldschuanicum

Under favourable conditions the stems of Fallopia baldschuanica can reach an impressive 12 metres long, with pale-green, ovate to heart-shaped leaves.

The small, white tinged pink blooms are borne in conspicuous, crowded panicles appearing throughout the summer and autumn. Once pollinated the blooms can turn increasingly pink, followed by small, shiny black fruits.

Fallopia baldschuanica has proven itself to be particularly robust and will perform well in any type of soil including shallow soils over chalk. Aspect is not really important as it will simply tolerate where it is or grow to more favourable conditions. That being said, young specimens will appreciate a certain amount of shelter and initial support until they become established. Young plants will also need the leading shoots pinched out to encourage side growth. Water in its first year during extended periods of drought.

Prune back during late autumn to maintain its shape and to help contain its growth.

It is rarely affected by pests and diseases although it can be prone to attack from aphids.

Main image credit – Simon Eade gardenofeaden@gmail.com
In text image credit – Jan Samanek https://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5256087 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/deed.en