Marking System for Hack & Squirt

By GrowingDeer,

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We have some multi-age timber to thin (hack/squirt) and in some areas there will be a lot of stems to treat.  How do you keep track of what you’ve treated and where to treat next?  I plan to mark the trees which are treated and work within long narrow sections delineated by a string line.  Is that the way to do it?  How do you do this?

Doug (Arkansas)


You are more systematic than me!  I let the scar from the hatchet serve as marking the treated tree. These scars will remain visible until the tree falls.  I do try to make all my cuts (or at least one on the larger diameter trees where multiple cuts are needed) in the same cardinal direction.  For example, if I begin working the timber stand from north to south, I make all of my cuts on the north so when I reenter the stand I can easily determine which stems have been treated without walking circles around the trees.  I tend to simply move through the woods and consider each tree in relation to the surrounding trees and other habitat features, especially if they are the same species.  I typically treat all sassafras, unless they are abnormally large.  If there are five oaks in a group, I favor the stem with the best form, etc., and treat the others.

There is one exception.  I’m always on the lookout for good treestand locations.  I don’t treat trees that may be positioned perfectly in relation to the surrounding habitat for stand location.  Shaping the future of a timber stand is as much art as it is science.  Don’t let the systematic approach get in the way of creating a productive, aesthetically pleasing and huntable forest.

Growing Deer together,