View Full Version : Hinged Areas should I do more?

02-03-2011, 11:42 AM
I've been working on and off throughout January hinging and feathering on my farm. Here are a few pictures of my work. And I would like to know if you all think I should continue hinging these areas or let them sit for the year and see what they look like this summer?

Creek Bottom


02-03-2011, 11:54 AM
I think you should do a lot more. This is a start but much thicker would be better. Hinging is something where you really can't do too much. Most of us are guilty of not doing enough to create the tangled up mess deer love.

02-03-2011, 11:58 AM
I would wait, you can always do more, but once its gone, you will be awhile getting it back. ;)

02-03-2011, 12:36 PM
I should add that some of the cedars you see in the first and second pic are hinged, but you can't see them. Directly behind the cedars is a old field with small cedars blackberries and some silky dogwood cuttings I just planted. There will be some wild plum there this spring as well.

The last 2 pics is larger timber just on the other side of the creek. I have tried to hing some of the smaller maples there but I thing they were a little big as some of them broke off. So some of the larger ones that you see there have been girdled.

If you continue to the top of the hill in the 3rd pic you will run into lots of hinged ash and maple. Thant is my feathering project at the edge of my clover plot. I also planted lots of silkydogwood cutting in the feathering areas.

02-03-2011, 12:57 PM
As long as there is enough sunlight reaching your hinge cut trees to keep them alive, you are OK.

I always think I am doing awesome, and this place is gonna be SO thick....then in 3 years the big trees I left behind filled in the gaps of the canopy that I opened, now my surviving hinge cut trees and ground cover have no sunlight, then die.

I would rather cut it too hard, then not hard enough. As long as you are not cutting mast producing trees. All the ones left behind are going to flourish and fill in the gaps left in the canopy.

In 3 years I have to start the whole process over again. Ground cover and hinge cut trees cannot survive in the shade. If you leave "trash" trees behind, then you are basically doing TSI for trash trees so that their tops can be released to grow bigger.

In 3 years of you have to cut those trees left behind to open the area up again for sunlight, when you drop those trees is it going to smush everything you did 3 years prior?

Been there, done that:(

If I had to do it all over again I would get it timbered as HARD as possible, then hinge some of the remaining trees for horizontal cover.

02-03-2011, 06:54 PM
What are your objectives for each area? Answer that then proceed accordingly. If you think you might ever hunt those areas, then make sure to leave trees with cover. Otherwise, I'd go through and hinge cut 1-2 acre parcels throughout the sections. It's better to hinge cut a big area in many sections than just hinge a tree here and there throughout the whole property...b/c if you're only doing it here and there you're probably not letting enough light in to make a difference. The famous saying in habitat is "when you think you've cut enough or that which you feel comfortable with, then go back and cut some more". You definitely want to make a mess and the uglier the better...just know where you're cutting and why. Something I didn't take into consideration is dead areas.

02-03-2011, 07:24 PM
Good advise Scrim,

I would add that I have seen a LOT of woodlots that have been timbered/logged to improve deer habitat. Most of them are thick for about 3 yrs, then return to looking exactly the same as before when the canopy fills in with the trees left behind. It is amazing how fast those trees fill in the gaps that loggers created.

I keep that in mind when hinging;)

02-03-2011, 07:33 PM
If you are having a hard time from them breaking off try cutting them lower I find that helps for some of the bigger trees. Just like everyone else said if you think you cut enough just go ahead and cut a bit more.

02-03-2011, 07:42 PM
JMO, I would hinge those trees higher then you have been (Head height) If you hinge cut that whole area at knee level, There wont be much cover because the trees will practically be on the ground...

Looks good :)

02-03-2011, 08:27 PM
I don't do all my cuts at the same hight it all depends in the tree and the goal I have for that tree. I cut some high others low it just depends. I was just saying I find it easier for the big one, little trees you can do all kinds of stuff with. Good luck.

02-03-2011, 09:03 PM
I've been cutting mainly tree that I can identify easily. Ash, maple and mussel wood. The area in the first 2 pics I'm having trouble ID-ing many of them that's why I've not done most.

Would it be better to wait until they leaf out so I don't make mistakes?

02-03-2011, 09:17 PM
Would it be better to wait until they leaf out so I don't make mistakes?

I feel so. I wouldn't want to be cutting trees unless I knew what species I was cutting. I think you are going about it right. It's better to be too timid in the beginning than to learn from the mistakes. You can always come back and cut more.


02-03-2011, 09:30 PM
Depends on what you have ear marked the area for. If it is a bedding area....

For me, in our area cover is Key. In bedding areas anything that is above a deers head, or does not produce a nut or a fruit that will drop down to a deers head is a goner:D . I will produce a LOT of food from the browse it will create, along with the cover for bedding.

I would learn how to identify your mast trees. The rest, find our how it hinges;)

lone cedar farm
02-03-2011, 09:49 PM
Sweetgums...lots of Sweetgums I can id them a mile away!

Heres a fair list of preferd or not trees;

02-03-2011, 09:56 PM
I've been cutting mainly tree that I can identify easily. Ash, maple and mussel wood. The area in the first 2 pics I'm having trouble ID-ing many of them that's why I've not done most.

Would it be better to wait until they leaf out so I don't make mistakes?

I agree with the other posts about varying height on the cuts. Another trick is to take 2 or 3 larger ones and hinge cut them as high as is safe/ comfy for you. Lay the top of the second big tree on the stump/ hinge of the first, then the top of the third on the stump of the second. Then you can dump the smaller ones on top of the backs of trees #2 and #3. Then continue putting the smaller others on the backs of the rest. MAkes for an interesting bedding pocket. It is not good to do everywhere as when the trees leaf out the ground gets little sun under the hut you created... If the tree breaks off the stump I usually cut a v in the top of the stump and place the trunk back on top of the stump so you continue giving support to the whole mess.... Parachute cord comes in handy for fine tuning things as you go too