Hinge-Cutting

Hinge-cutting

Of all the habitat improvements a landowner can make, hinging cull trees (trees that are an undesirable species) is perhaps the single most effective improvement. It requires virtually no expense other than a chainsaw and some time. The term “hinge cut” refers to cutting partially through a small tree so that it can be tipped over, yet remains alive. Doing so can create hiding places where deer will bed as well as feed on the browse from the downed tree top and shoots sent up from the stump. These downed trees also can be strategically cut to funnel deer past a stand.

A great example of a hinge-cut…

how to hinge-cut

Hinge cuts are done by angling the saw, as shown below, and cutting 60-80% through the tree. Either let the weight of the top bring the tree down or you can push it over, allowing it to remain attached to the stump and not snap off. By keeping the tree attached to the stump it will more than likely remain alive, giving you excellent browse and cover, all while the canopy is opened up and more sunlight is allowed in… thus creating even more browse and cover.

Paul with the same small tree…

Paul with the same small tree…