hemlock hinge cuts - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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hemlock hinge cuts

I am looking for useful info on creating bedding in a hemlock area. I understand the thermal cover aspect of these trees and how it will be gone by doing this with them, . I have considered this spot carefully based on it's location and it is where I want to create bedding and security cover, just not sure it is possible and can't find any info on it with a quick google search. Has anyone done it? The area has lots of visibility now, prob 80 yards to 100 with ease, just want to make reasonably sure this will work, obviously deer eat hemlock but I don't think the trees survive hinging so they won't put up much browse once cut, the sunlight is what I am counting on to offset that and spur new growth. I plan to harvest some and drop the rest, there are a few white oaks I plan to leave, and a few yellow birch that will be hinged too.


I couldn't find any info online of anyone who has done this, just figured I would ask here

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 06:18 PM
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I would not do that, you will end up with nothing but a worthless mess..
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 06:18 PM
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I would not do that, you will end up with nothing but a worthless mess..
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 06:23 PM
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I agree. Hinge cutting is generally used to provide food. Bad idea.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 08:08 AM
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Speaking from experience, no hemlocks will not hinge and it will be a dead zone if you dont cut trails and small areas for them to bed

My situation wasnt for bedding though. It was to create thick cover so people walking the GL border couldn't see or shoot in. It was only 2 or 3 acres. Last year i put a cam on the edge of my cut and had pics of buck after buck going in and out.

I left most of the ones with lower branches and a couple for stands. All others got cut.

You may want to start out small. Like 1/4 or 1/2 acre. How big of a bedding area are you making?

I' ll get some pics next time i'm up my place.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Input is appreciated and thank you. Hinge cuts are made to provide bedding too, I do realize these trees will not be long term browse and will die. Some of the trees are not marketable timber due to crooked growth, damage or rot. Some of them are marketable and have ruined the others, at the very least I am taking some of them out but I have a long term desire to make this an attractive bedding area. I already figure it will be a mess for a period of time, the long term plan is what I am looking at and cannot find any documented info from anyone who has worked an area like this in a similar fashion. It is all pine needles under the canopy now, very little for deer to eat, red squirrels love it though.

Sadly most of my life has been wasted, but the rest I spent hunting, fishing, and trapping...
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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It's a bit more than an acre and would make cover between two thick areas that are low lying and wet most of the year, it's the only dry spot which was also a selection reason. I too want to make it so the visibility from the neighboring property is reduced. I did not figure the trees would live, or be hinge cuts in a traditional sense, I kind of used that title to grab folks attention too.



I would love to see a few pictures, you are the first person I have found who has done something similar to this. I have owned this land 23 years come February and this is a spot that see's only passing traffic, I want to slow the critters down here if I can.

Sadly most of my life has been wasted, but the rest I spent hunting, fishing, and trapping...
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:11 AM
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Sounds like you already had your mind made up before you asked.....why even bother to ask....
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:26 AM
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Hemlock is poverty browse, only used out of necessity when preferred foods are not available. It is however, valuable for thermal cover for deer and If I had a heavy stand of hemlock I would leave it for just that purpose. The property I hunt had a very large stand of mature scotch pine, that spot used to be for Christmas trees. When ever the weather is crappy, hard rain, wind, blowing snow etc. That stand of pine is full of deer, it is the perfect addition to the oak and hickory woods on the rest of the property. When you walk into the pines on a very cold day you can feel the temperature is substantially warmer in there than outside them and if raining it is much drier and little rain reaches the ground.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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I asked because I wanted to hear what others had done in similar spots. I could not find any documentation on it and since there are a lot of Eastern Hemlock in this state, it being our state tree, I considered it a worthwhile topic to start a discussion on.. Your advice was don't do it and I respect that position but I am planning to do something with this area and gathering information is where I am now. I haven't even gassed up the saw so what could talking about this hurt? I thought this was a forum to share ideas and maybe gain knowledge?

Sadly most of my life has been wasted, but the rest I spent hunting, fishing, and trapping...
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