Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Just Don't Do It

A really stupid, goofy practice being promoted by some of the wildlife writers out there in the world is what they call "hinging".  They are telling their readers to cut trees leaving them attached to the stump by a live strip of bark and sapwood, and just exactly what benefit they think it serves wildlife is beyond me.

I think they believe they are making bedding areas and keeping mast production up in live horizontal trees, but they are causing good timber to be wrecked while they are endangering the lives of their readers.  Cutting trees without a proper hinge is a recipe for disaster, and trees really do fall on people when they use bad chainsaw techniques.

When you wipe out the overstory you need to know what regeneration is available on the floor to take over, and of course, that is not addressed with this practice.  Fifty years or more of timber growth is wiped out when people do this, just before the trees become small sawlogs.

I had a request from a landowner a few years ago to walk his newly acquired timber with him.  He had a really nice, high quality stand of white oak pole timber at the south end of his property, and he had wrecked it this way before he called me to evaluate and advise him on management. He was really proud of what he had done until I looked at it.  If you have been hoodwinked into doing this, the first thing to do is take a chainsaw safety course so you will stop doing things that will kill you.  Then walk through your disaster with a forester and figure out a strategy to begin growing timber again.

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