Cutting Ironwood


Active Member
I have some sections of woods that were logged 15 years ago where a tree we call "Ironwood" (scaly bark, doesn't get overly tall) is taking over and would like to get in there w/ chainsaw.

1) Suggestions on proper chain for this what seems to be insanely hard wood, I have stihl MS250. Should stick to semi-chisel?
2) thoughts on hinging these trees? I've never hinge cut ironwood not sure if it really regens good or not from hinge.

any other advice w/ cutting ironwood?
I have no advice on hinge cutting ironwood but I used semi-chisel for straight cutting and it cut fine. If you might ever want to make mallets for timber framing, save a few bolts of the ironwood. As you say it is extremely hard; My wife and I used our ironwood mallets banging on chisels for a week straight at a timber framing class; Other than a few dents the mallets showed no signs of wear. Mallets made of other woods were shredded with the same amount of use.
Just chop and squirt it. It will be down by the next year all by itself. Don't hinge it, as the deer by us do not eat it.
Hop hornbeam. We have tons of them, as well as their cousin, the American hornbeam. I’ve wondered about this, too. They’re both too hard to hack and squirt.

I wish I had some firsthand advice. Instead I’m lingering for advice, too, as I’ve got a ton of them that need to be returned to dust. I have heard from Grant Woods that they are very susceptible to fire. I’ll be killing many of them, but I’m also considering planting a smooth-barked American hornbeam in my yard. I think they’re a pretty tree, just not very wildlife beneficial. For that reason, I wouldn’t consider them a good candidate for hinging.
They hinged well enough and they hold their leaves well into winter but the deer don't really browse them unless they are small. I wish I would have killed them all instead of hinging as they blew up all over the hinged areas after I did that. I need to go back in there and cut and kill all of them.
We started to clear out our under story, and at first we hinged our Iron Wood (both kinds). After the first year we determined it was a waste of time to hinge cut them, as most survived and prevented the sun from getting to ground and the deer did not eat any of them. Then we just cut them off and let the stumps sprout with the same effect and the deer did not eat hardly any of it. Now we just chop and squirt them. 1000's of trees most from 1-3 inch diameter (some bigger) and it works just fine and opens the floor up to sun. We keep the bigger ones, just because they grow so slow and we love big trees. lol.