Hinge cutting trees for habitat improvement/ with pics

jaytee

New member
Been out with the camera again and thought I'd share some pics of some examples of hinge cutting trees. This process can really help improve the habitat for lots of different species of animals from quail and pheasant to deer, turks, ect. All of the trees show in the following pics were cut aprox. 6 years ago and have generated enough new growth that they're ready to cut again, keeping this living brush pile going on. This first pic is of a walnut, which along with hackberry seems to respond well to hinge cutting. I'll leave it up to you if you want to keep the walnuts alive or not, as the juglone toxin present in the soil and root system can be counterproductive to getting new shrubby growth.



This pic is of the same walnut, just at the upper end. Its got several shoots coming off which will add to the value when they're felled.



This shows just how much new growth there has been in a few short years. These sprouts are 20-25 feet tall and are ready to come down.



This is a successfull hinge cut on a hackberry.



One more

 
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1GB

New member
Looking good!

I personally spray the black walnut so they don't grow back - kind of kills me that they are one of my most prevalent seedlings that keep showing up.

Here's some pictures I took the other day of white ash I hinged:


Worst case, if you fail hinging, a cut stump along can have a lot of potential. This is one summers growth close, if not over 6' tall now (and yes, one got some attention from a small buck recently):


Not only do you get good regrowth from stumps, but potential for lots of new growth too!

Elderberry growing through and in front of a large hinged white ash:


Briars for rabbits/quail/etc:


Hard to believe that this was completely open 3 years ago - now it's thick!


Big, mature trees can be nice, but early successional growth is good too. :cheers:
 

oldandnew

New member
I have a love hate relationship with hinge cutting or "feather edging", no question the birds use it, I did a 1/2 mile fence line almost continous, problem is it's about 15-20 foot wide and I can't get the little buggers to flush out of it! Run like devils, flush wild in ones or twos, and worse yet hold tight, and make me fight my way in to flush in front of the staunch dog. Since I'm now old and have thin skin and bleed like a stuck hog, I'm researching leather shirts and pants, ( like Daniel Boone), to avoid transfusions. But the little devils sure like it!
 

UGUIDE

New member
Jaytee, I am a big fan of hinge cuts. I did a bunch last year to beef up the bedding area at the deer shack in WI.

Last time I crawled up in the deer stand I was glassing some of these hinged areas and noticing the hickorys had suckered quite a bit. I also noticed a patch of white in the brush that looked vaguely like the white patch on neck of my decoy deer. It was a large doe and I could not see her with naked eye but when she stood up I could range her and she was only 48 yards away. All totaled their were 2 other does and 3 fawns bedded with her. They did not detect me and I watched them for 2-3 hours until they departed the bedding area at dusk.

I have another big area to hinge there and also plan to do some hinging in SD in a 1/2 mile shelter belt I had made cuts in before I knew about hinging. Wildlife really respnd well to these type of cuts. Takes vertical cover and turns it horizontal where it can be most beneficial. Creates a ton of food source as browse for deer. Trees can live several years and produce browse for that long too.

Nice pics.
 

UGUIDE

New member
I just spent 4 hours in the woods yesterday with the Stihl 170. You would not believe all the perfectly good hickory trees I hinged (swacked). I really made a mess. I figure I have about another good 4 hours of cutting and then the top of the ridge and deer sanctuary will be complete. Hopefully the work pays off. I honestly don't know how they walk thru this stuff.

Same plan for the shelterbelt in SD. The first time thru I didn't know about hinging so all the new cuts will be hinged.

Will try and get some pics.
 

1GB

New member
I honestly don't know how they walk thru this stuff.
Keep in mind that "hinge cuts" for deer can be done with various results in mind, some of which is deterring deer movement. I know you're on the QDMA forum and suspect you probably know, but I thought I should share just in case.
Will try and get some pics.
I think it's safe to say we all love seeing pictures. It's always motivating to see what others are doing and the results afterwards!
 

UGUIDE

New member
Keep in mind that "hinge cuts" for deer can be done with various results in mind, some of which is deterring deer movement. I know you're on the QDMA forum and suspect you probably know, but I thought I should share just in case.QUOTE]

True. True.

I had an area where i hinge cut last year and I had not moved my deer stands and it pushed the deer below where I was sitting and they would wond me so I had to move my stands further out from the hinged area.
 

jaytee

New member
Hey UGuide, do you treat the hickory stumps with TordonRTU after you cut 'em? Doesn't hickory sucker pretty bad off the cut stumps?
 

UGUIDE

New member
Hey UGuide, do you treat the hickory stumps with TordonRTU after you cut 'em? Doesn't hickory sucker pretty bad off the cut stumps?
No it suckers pretty good Jaytee. That's what I want.

When you think of terms "food cover plot" you are turning vertical cover into horizontal cover and browse is a high demand food source of whitetails all year round. I am trying to get the thickest nastiest cover within 0-6' of the ground. Good for birds and bucks.

I have used the trodon tru in a prior cut to set back undesirables like ironwood though and it works good and is fairly cheap.
 

UGUIDE

New member
Here you go boys. 7 hours of cutting in the woods today. One pic shows suckers from cut from last year and other picture shows uncut woods.




Last pic shows where the freak nasty will call home.

 
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UGUIDE

New member
Surprised to see you out cutting to soon. Here in MI chainsaw season doesn't start until January (once deer season is finally over).
1GB, this is all up on a ridge top with very steep sides. Once the trails get snowed in and any ice underneath there is no access to this area so now is the time.

I should be done cutting for about 30 years now (hopefully) so I was highly motivated.:cheers:
 

jaytee

New member
Here's an updated view of the same area as in the first 4 or 5 pics. I spent the other day doing some more hinge cutting and the results look pretty good.



Same area, different angle.





The area in these next few pics is a new area that I just started on this year. It was 99 percent smallish Walnut trees with a hackberry or two thrown in and some cedars. I cut and treated the walnuts to kill them but everything else was hinge cut. This area should look really good in a few years.



 

StephenHendry

New member
Great work you are doing for the wildlife, I need some suggestions for the oak tree I have in my garden. Its branches are widened to touching my room's window. Whether I should call tree removal experts for its cutting or try to cut branches on my own?
 
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