Cedar tree stand setup ideas


Active Member
Getting back into tree stand hunting for first time in 20 years. Looks like I'll have a number of big cedars I could trim up for hang on or ladder stand setups. If a guy was using a hang on, would you trim the back side of the tree and just enough in front to hold the stand and allow standing? Do you ever cut branches about 10" from trunk for steps or is that risky?

Any pics of cedar stand setups would be appreciated. Can trim trees anytime this year but wanted to get a little education before I started.

Bow is restrung after sitting idle and arrows are flying again. Pretty fun getting back into it.
I've used cedar limbs for steps many times, sometimes cut and sometimes uncut. I've never used these trees more than 3 or 4 years, so I can't tell you about cut limbs beyond that time frame. I usually just cut enough limbs at stand height to allow for drawing and clear lanes. My favorite set-ups for ladder stands is to have a cedar in front of a deciduous tree and cut shooting lanes, talk about good cover!
You can get some kind of hidden in a cedar tree. I wouldn't cut any more limbs than you have to, and the limbs up the back if spaced properly are great for climbing up. Just make sure you still have your life line from stand to ground.
Barry Wensel has a successful cedar stand set up somewhere in Iowa. I believe it's about 6 feet off the ground and it's just the top section of a ladder stand. I think he shows it in his Out and About video.

Nice thing about cedar trees is you can get great cover without having to go very high.
I agree, cut as few branches as it takes to get up and down, and to stand and shoot out.

Going to be checking potential stand locations next weekend. See if I can get a few pics. Kind of excited to climb back up a tree again lol.
This ladder stand is in a cedar with dead lower limbs, but it still has decent concealment.

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Headed out this weekend to check a few spots on my place for fall stands. Appreciate everyone's feedback.
Sounds like you're trad bow hunting. If so, trim as few limbs as possible. Pick shot opportunity spots and trim only to cover those spots. I would do my best to not trim anything behind the stand. I love cedars for trad bow hunting. I've got 5 stands set in big cedars.
Followup on an old thread. Got this stand up in what I think should be a stellar location. All depends on wind direction but feel pretty invisible up in this one.
I'm curious why you cut so many of the lower branches. Seems like they wouldn't be an issue with a ladder stand.
I try to cut as little as possible. But it's a cedar, so within a year or 2 that cover will be growing back.
I was going to put a ground blind against it, but then decided to go up with a stand. I think there is enough cover up top still to provide some concealment. Next time I'll leave more of those.