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It seems everything you read about hinge cutting is done during the winter months. To do this, I would have to drive 160 miles, walk on the side of a hill in a foot of snow with a chain saw.

At what point in time are the buds formed for next year and the sap in the roots? With the foliage change at different times as you move North, can you use this as a guide?

I'd like to cut some maple trees, in the southern tier of New York state, for bedding and browse.
 

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RW, I had the same problem this past year. This was the first winter I owned my property and was itching to get started on hinge cutting. My property is just across the PA line in Ohio. As you know, we were buried in snow for a long period and I wasn't comfortable with the idea of running a saw, on a steep hill side, in 1+ ft of snow. I finally was able to get started in March, but I wasn't able to accomplish as much as I was hoping.

I am hoping January and February this winter, leave at least a few weeks with open ground.
 

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By the way, there are dozens of very good articles on hinge cutting on qdma.com in the habitat forums.
 
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