What is the best time of year to do timber stand improvement?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
Dr. Woods:

My property (and the entire surrounding area) is 100% standing mature timber. I want to do some work to improve the deer habitat. What is the best time of year to do timber stand improvement work (such as hinge cutting or other methods of opening up the forest canopy)?


I frequently use the hack and squirt method to remove unwanted trees.  You can learn more about this method at:  https://www.growingdeer.tv/?ep=bow-hunting-big-nebraska-gobblers&#/bow-hunting-big-nebraska-gobblers

Hack and squirt can be used anytime sap isn’t rapidly rising in trees (typically anytime except March through May or so).  

I’m not a huge fan of the hinge cutting technique.  The limbs from hinge cut trees tend to grow above the cover zone (0′ – 3′) rapidly.  This is messy for us to walk through, but wide open where a deer lives.  I’d rather kill the tree and allow native forbs and vegetation to grow once the canopy is removed and sun is allowed to reach the forest floor.

Enjoy creation,


December 6, 2015