4 Ways to Identify The “Perfect” Tree for Your Tree Stand
So you’ve collected high intelligence, and you’ve found a spot with a target deer picked out. You just know he’s in there! It’s time for the cat and mouse game to begin. Good luck!
No deer is worth dying over! With that being said, the first characteristic in selecting a tree is to pick a live tree. A healthy tree, in good soil, without any damage. I’m not an arboriculturist, not even an arborist. If you’re not sure about any given tree, pick a different tree. One that you know is alive and healthy. Feel free to always consult with a local arborist for help with a specific tree.
Growing up in Alabama, the old-timers used to say pick a tree at least the size of your waist. And I believe it. Take a look at what your tree stand manufacturer recommends. For us, that means a minimum of 10 inches in diameter where the stand will be installed. That’s a straight line passing from side to side through the middle of the tree, at the height where it will be installed, not at waist level from the ground floor.
Remember, that’s the minimum. At Heaven’s Trail, our tree stands were engineered to be installed with three different pieces of webbing that are each 8 feet long. So you have a wide range of tree diameter to consider. I would much rather be in a bigger tree than a smaller tree.
Relative to tree height, I’m not sure that’s as much of a concern as the diameter at tree stand height. In the southeast where I do most of my hunting, the average height is probably more than 50 feet, but maybe not 100 feet. Again, the goal is a healthy tree with a solid footing in the dirt.
As far as the best tree species, let’s start with the worst trees. The trees with a shallow root system are bad ideas to place a tree stand. Most landscaping trees, like Willow Trees, for example, have very shallow roots systems. Other landscaping trees where you can see the roots above the ground floor are bad ideas for tree stands.
Think about being up 15+ feet in a tree with shallow roots, if the ground is wet from a bunch of rain and you climb up in your stand, then the wind blows you and all of your weight side to side, that shallow root system isn’t likely to hold up. Fortunately, most landscaping trees don’t have that 10-inch diameter at the tree stand height.
But don’t be fooled by trees that are 100 feet tall either. Some Pine trees have roots systems that go 3 feet deep. In sandy soil, deeper. But why do we see so many Pine trees blown over? That answer is dependent on a host of environmental influences. Not saying all Pine trees are a terrible idea, but I tend to stay away from them. Besides, they generally don’t provide much cover, so you silhouette against the sky.
Oak trees have taproots that grow deep into the soil from a young age. But even the fast-growing Pin Oaks generally have shallow root systems. My personal preference is to be in a hardwood tree of some sort as often as possible.
They tend to have plenty of limbs that provide cover for me, and they are big enough to go well beyond the minimum diameters.
Tree shape and the way a tree grows is also a consideration. The example here is a Pine Tree, yes, we prefer not to be in Pine Trees, but when it’s your only option, you have to do the best you can.
Heaven’s Trail tree stands are the only tree stands with the articulating bracket to adjust the platform for pitch and roll. We also are the only tree stands available with the adjustable ladder angle. These are tremendous benefits when selecting your tree.
Not every tree is straight, not even a telephone pole is as straight as you’d like to think. By the way, NEVER install a tree stand on a telephone or power pole.
The features of the articulating bracket and adjustable ladder angle allow for fine-tuning the installation like never before. These features put you in an optimal position for you to wait comfortably for hours at a time. In other words, you get to hang around longer!
Bottom line, safety first, always pick a live tree and try to find one with good roots.
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