TSI?

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by Rickey, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Rickey

    Rickey Active Member

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    There has been a lot of talk about hinging trees lately. Can some of you describe which trees you like to hinge/why, which trees you decide to cut/kill/why, and which trees you decide to leave/why in an area? I have been planning on just cutting a lot of my trees such as hickory and sweet gum and I see a lot are hinging hickory instead of killing it. Also, after you hinge what all do you do in the area? Plant? Leave alone?
     
  2. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Rickey - I am going to move this to the native habitat thread.

    As far as hinging trees I target the trees that hinge well and live well horizontally. On my land this would be Hickory, Elm, and smaller post oak. My goal is to keep the trees alive to create a thick ground cover. Since the trees are alive and will leaf back out every year I don't try to plant anything in the hinge areas. You will still get a bunch of regen but mostly from the stump below the hinge. The taller trees you leave will eventually canopy back out and shade out the hinge cut area.

    Some areas I just simply drop the trees completely and either leave the stump to sprout or I treat the stump if I don't want my regen to be the same as what was there already. I treat a bunch of Hickory stumps because about 60% of the woods we own are hickory dominate. I am simply trying to get sunlight to the ground in these instances hoping to get a more diverse forest. In these areas I will put a few seedlings in and I try to put them in the tree tops laying on the ground to protect them from the deer. I don't have to plant much because I have oak seedlings everywhere that are just waiting on their chance to grow with sunlight.

    If I have trees I deem will be of more use vertical but dead to let the sunlight in I do a Hack and Squirt or I girdle them. If you hack and squirt you kill the entire tree but if you girdle the tree the area below your girdling cuts may remain alive and stump sprout. It is amazing how much sun a standing but dead tree will let to the ground for regen. This really hit home for me when a lot of the big red oak trees died over the past 5 or so years with the oak wilt. Lots of regrowth on the forest floor below them. Remember to make sure the tree you girdle or H & S is not going to be a tree you need for a future stand site!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  3. Rickey

    Rickey Active Member

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    Thanks. My plan was to drop a lot of sweet gum and hickory this winter as I get some honey do and time. Instead of dropping I would rather hinge if the new growth in the hinged tree will also be a possible food source as well as a screen/cover. I was also planning on planting some young oaks/seedlings in the cut trees for future growth. As far as H&S, I have never done it but do plan on spraying the evil sweet gums after I drop them. I really need to thicken my woods up and change what is growing in my woods by providing more food via acorn fruit and regen.
     
  4. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    The main thing with hinging is that I do it where I want additional food or cover. That may not be everywhere. It also tends to mean that you have to have enough hinge trees in an area to get the affect you desire. Hinging one tree here and there may not provide the results you are looking for. Most of the time I'm looking for a dozen or more to essentially turn into a 1/8 or 1/4 acre brush pile. You also have to make sure it will get enough sunlight for the trees to survive. Also you will find some trees simply hinge and survive much better than others.

    Hickory hinge well - I am not familiar with sweet gum. I have no idea of the browse preference of either. Elm, iron wood, hackberry, boxelder, ash, soft maples, all hinge well for me. Beech and hard maple do not....for me. Cottonwood, boxelder, sycamore, poplar all stump sprout well for me as well.

    I look at the tree and ask essentially what benefit it is providing based on my goals. It it isn't doing much for me then it's a candidate to be turned into deer habitat (hinged or cut). I consider timber value, cover value, mast/browse value and other environmental value as well. We all have different goals so you have to manage to yours. I have had 2 selective timber harvests and all I can say is that by getting the sunshine on the ground....mother nature does the rest. I use hinging to augment that work, not as a substitute for it. Promote the trees you want and look at ways to use the less desirable ones to favor your goals.
     
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  5. Neahawg

    Neahawg Active Member

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    I kill every sweet gum i can because they spread like crazy and are worthless tree. Next on my kill list are locust trees though the do have some value I've found depending on the situation. After that I like to get rid of trees that will never be useful such as trees that grew at sharp angle etc, which you could hinge cut or cut all together.
     
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  6. W33kender

    W33kender Active Member

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    Locust is great for the stove or fireplace. Seriously.
     
  7. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    I have contracted with the MDOC for TSI. They come out and mark the trees they think I should cut. I cut them then they inspect and sign off an a check for roughly $100/acre. They don't care whether I hinge, drop, sell, or cut up for firewood.
    I figure their forester should know better than me on what should stay and what should go. We do go over my management goals beforehand so we are on the same page. It's something I've done each year and the money is a bonus.
     
  8. Fish

    Fish Well-Known Member

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    Best take home here is what are your goals?
    I have goals specific to different areas. And i cut and treat (kill) more trees than i hinge. I have never targeted any one species for hinging, though i always like hinging an elm over an ash, per say, due to their hinging capabilities.
    I have planted oaks into hinged areas with good success. But if i want to gets oaks started, i kill the majority of the junk trees and hinge fewer.
    Again, every site varies to some extent. Are you dealing with wide open canopied timber? Field edges? Or areas where you need better tree species growing? Or, are you looking to release crop trees?
     
  9. Chummer

    Chummer Active Member

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    I had 70 acres of mature hardwood. I had it logged and they took the hard and soft maple, cherry, and any ash still alive. That left me with beech, birch, and under sized maple and cherry. For 2/3 of the property I am hinging almost every beech and birch. I also dropping any crooked trees they didn't want. I want the thickest areas I can make. There is also a group of trees I a map not comfortable dropping. Some very large beech, maple, and cherry. If you are going for thick you can't hinge too much. I have made the mistake of hinging and then the next year I realize it didn't open enough so I have to do the same area twice. By leaving the best young maple and cherry I figure it will help resale if I want out, or I will be able to have it cut again in 20 years.
     
  10. Rickey

    Rickey Active Member

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    My goal is to change the area from primarily sweet gum and hickory into mast producing trees. I would also like to make it a thick nasty mess during the early years. There are a few oaks in this bottom but not many. The land neighboring my property on that side is overhunted and primarily pine and sparkleberry. I do not have a problem with anyone hunting illegally that I know of. It is along a dirt road that I live on. If I get a chance sometime I will get on Google Earth and try to post some pics. One day I may start a thread for my property. I really need to for my own benefit so I can track what I am doing better and see my results.
     
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  11. dgallow

    dgallow Well-Known Member

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    Basically any tree which needs to be culled is a candidate for hinging, felling w/stump treatment, or standing hack/squirt. How we choose to deal with cull trees depends on landscape goal for a small area, upland vs bottom land, amount of soil water/nutrients needed to be spared for other successional plants, and the site potential for new rangeland plants. What you need to realize if that if you hinge all of your cull trees and they remain living, then there is very little soil resources available for successional plants and food value/plant diversity declines over time without other disturbances. Bottomland tends to have taller trees than upland, so less trees per ac is required to stimulate plant succession and alleviate deep shading in bottomland.

    Usually hinge trees which have known high browsable forage value for deer and cattle, elm ash and hackberry as ex. In some cases hickory if more screening cover is needed.

    Usually fell/stump treat all cull oaks and majority of hickory for interim woody cover between burns in savannah or thinned woodland setting. If elm and ash are overabundant, they are treated as well. Tall native grasses become the long term cover in place of the slash.

    Usually hack/squirt cull trees where a more open understory with greater amount of cool season succession is desired. This is good on droughty sites with low warm season range plant potential.

    All of this goes back to figuring out what landscape best serves your habitat needs. We started with hinge cutting but in a few years found out that cull tree treatment provided a more diverse forage base in our environment. We were lacking in quantity of high quality preferred native plant species....so than means killing cull trees by majority over hinging.
     
  12. Rickey

    Rickey Active Member

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    Doug,
    I personally would rather eradicate hickory and sweet gum just so I could produce more of an understory until I could have enough mast to provide. The only reason considering hinging and not mass kill is because of the talk about how well it benefits wildlife to hinge. I want my small area to be frequented by wildlife as much as possible. I will never be able to have enough trees to sell so I have to make the best out of what I have. I also know I can only do so much but I am going to try to make the best decision I can. What steps to take can get really confusing at times. The awesome thing about a chainsaw is it does a wonderful job. The bad thing is once a trees is down it takes a long time to replace. I have some rather large trees I am going to drop.
     
  13. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    Know why you are hinging and if it will improve your habitat. I've seen no real benefit on my property as the result of hinging. I'm now having to go back and remove all the sweet gum sprouts that exploded on and around the stumps as a result of hinging. Some of those sprouts are well over 10 ft tall. Each property is unique and has different habitat needs. If I hinge again it will be feather edging around food plots to direct entryways into the plot. If I needed a thick, messy screen between my and the neighbor I would hinge. But for TSI, I'd rather cut, treat the stump and leave the top laying on the ground. Doesn't take long for birds to start dropping all manner of seed and with the top dead and sunlight hitting the floor, the blackberry, pokeberry, dogwood, etc. has a better chance of growing vs a live crown that's horizontal to the ground.
     
  14. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Luckily we have no sweetgum on either of our properties...Hickory is my main cull tree.
     
  15. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Was the virgin forest a mono culture of just certain types of trees? Why is there variety in your forests? Is it to be culled of every plant or tree we deem to be undesirable? Why does that plant grow in that spot? Answer that question before selectively removing what nature put there. Maybe it serves a purpose for what is to come? So you want a mono culture of trees providing deer food you deem important. What happens when disease or insect destroy that growth across tens or thousands, or millions of acres? Then what remains. Does nature prepare for disasters , whether manmade or natural, if we allow it? Do we bring on our own pestulance by thinking we know what is perfect in our deer world.? Every plant and animal is somehow dependant on the each other. I doubt we truly know the correlation.
    Don't be selective in your TSI. Either cut the crap out of it, or don't cut at all.
     
  16. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Other than squirrels using the Hickory Nuts and using one for an occasional treestand tree and hinge cutting them for a screen because they live well horizontally I can find no use for a hickory...deer won't even browse the hickory I hinge down to their level...
     
  17. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^^^^^But maybe they serve a purpose way beyond immediate food for just deer? Maybe they restructure and feed the soil for plant life to come? Maybe tree life is not even the purpose of that soil but by mans actions that is what is a evolved to much as the plowing or poor tree harvesting of centuries past? Maybe it's trying to repair damage already done?
    What if the hickories promote more squirrels which spread more oak acorns by their efforts, which give more hard mast that indeed deer like?
     
  18. dgallow

    dgallow Well-Known Member

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    Call your district forester.....ask him to come look at the woods....tell him what you want to accomplish and listen to his advice. These guys know trees and wooded landscapes and how to shift the ecosystems. IT could be the best thing you ever did before thinking about dropping old trees!

    dogghr, sweetgum, hickory, elm and a few other secondary hardwood species are opportunists in low elevation high rainfall humid areas (probably maple etc at your elevation).....when preferred dominant oak hardwood is removed for whatever reason these secondary non-preferred species are in the position to shift dominance quickly in their favor. The easiest way to degrade any plant community is selective removal or selective overuse of preferred dominant species. If a clear cut is truly a clear cut then each tree species is cut to the ground and each regrowth has access to the same resources and all compete uniformly (or some regrowth is controlled)...gradually shifting over centuries toward true oak balance/dominance. However, there always seems to be this kind hearted mankind approach which wants to 'leave something behind standing'...the obvious thing to leave behind or not destroy is the secondary species due to low economic value.....and in several decades that is exactly what you have....a forest of low value secondary hardwood! I don't know if you remember the drive just over the mountain from the house and I pointed out some woods to you which had been cleared in the 80s by dozers and chains....and I mean leveled excepting 3 trees per 80 ac....then left to succeed! Here we are know 35 years later and it is a postoak dominant upland woodlot now in need of thinning or fire. We also didn't look at the bottom by the gate where I selective cut for post oak firewood in the same time frame leaving shumard oak seedlings behind (the shumard wood smelled like dog shit and no-one wanted it). Shumard are now mast bearing and in need of cull thinning to restore the understory vegetation diversity. I did not know what the hell I was doing back then other than cutting wood for income....but it seems to have worked out in a very positive way in terms of species diversity and complexity and a fit of the right successional tree species to the right ecosystem.
     
  19. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    I agree with points to some extent. But the regrowth of forests into its original status, doesn't occur because we have changed the animal population balance to favor what we want in such a way that those same deer eat the very tree we want to sprout and take over poor forests. It is a cycle we started and we keep trying to make a fix within the confines of what nature does yet we are always choosing to disrupt her processes.
     
  20. dgallow

    dgallow Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it is just what someone left behind and in a stage of growth to become dominant?

    I do see deer use of lush hickory sprout tips in spring.....cattle use of the low leaves just prior to drop in the fall.....monocultures of hickory with lack of diversity any time of year....tree rats using the nuts.....so the goal is not eradication rather species redirection....it is more of an indicator species. Hickory is more difficult than post oak to split by hand today as it is was during prohibition....therein I suspect is one major reason for hickory expansion....chances are here if you find monoculture hickory there is soil with high water holding potential an old still site nearby...remove the hickory and be surprised at what comes in next!
     

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