Hinge Cutting Trees for Bedding

The purpose for hinge cutting trees in your sanctuary. Some hinge cut trees will still survive for years offering a browse for the deer. It opens up the Canopy to let the sun hit the forest floor and promote lots of growth to thicken the area that will provide a nice bedding area that deer, turkey, rabbits and other wildlife to feel safe.

Hinge cutting is not that difficult, there are times that getting the first 6-10 trees down can be an effort due to how tall and thick the trees you need to cut are growing next to each other. It can be a very dangerous, so please use caution and never assume the tree you just cut is going to go where you think it will. But I also want you to know that it is a learned process.

Security/Barrier hinging the idea for this cover used in directing deer movement is to make your cuts lower to the ground so that the treetops and horizontal cover is low enough to keep deer from bedding in it & moving underneath and the tops intertwine to the point that its easier for the deer to just go around the mess rather than go through it.

Here’s my method for making the cut with your chainsaw; the height that you make your cut in the tree trunk can vary greatly depending on what kind of cover you building, if you’re laying them on top of previously hinged trees a number of other factors that you will encounter once you start to hinge cut your habitat. But here is the just of the process, you need a sharp chain, if it’s not sharp you’re asking for an accident. Hold your saw perpendicular to the tree trunk or slightly at a downward angle but do not use a steep angle and especially if your cutting into trees of 12 inches or larger at that point make sure your cuts are as close to 90 degrees to the tree trunk as you can hold your saw. Be sure to wear a helmet, eye protection and safety gear including chain saw chaps. Once you start getting a few trees down you will have limbs at your face level and eye protection is absolutely a requirement. Also watch for vines attached to the tree, if there are vines be sure that’s the first thing you cut, not doing so can drastically change the direction of the trees path and you may find yourself in the path when you assumed you were nowhere near where you thought it was going to fall.
Take your time and as you work you will get the knack for what it is you’re trying to accomplish, it’s not rocket science but you’ve got to be clear headed and have a plan when you start out. Don’t work yourself into a corner with no place to get out, I’ve done it and it’s no fun climbing over 50 yards of hinged trees because I wasn’t thinking before I started cutting.
One thing you will discover is sometimes you will need an extra hand using a pull down hook or other tools that can help you reach up high on the tree.


  1. Jaden Ambrosia

    Do you think there’s any chance you could add a picture or two of how to hinge cut a tree?

    • NHWildlife

      Cut through the tree about 3/4 and push it over, but cut up about 4-5 Feed, the idea is not to cut through the outer bark. The deer will walk under the highest point when the tree goes over. It takes a little practice. You will see a buck bed in the picture above just before the hinge cut trees. Works like a charm.

  2. Jaden Ambrosia

    I just don’t quite get it I guess

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