How much tree do you need?

UpATree

Six Pointer
Contributor
I'm trying to cut some shooting lanes and the trees are just not cooperating. One is too big. One is the right size but has a 20 degree lean. And one is in just the right place, but it's a little small. It's a healthy white oak, I'm guessing 5" across near the ground. At 15' it's probably 3" across. I'm a little guy, just 145 pounds. Add a climber, rifle, some gear and now maybe 180?

So is that enough to be safe? Would a ladder stand leaning against it be safer than a climber?
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
I'm trying to cut some shooting lanes and the trees are just not cooperating. One is too big. One is the right size but has a 20 degree lean. And one is in just the right place, but it's a little small. It's a healthy white oak, I'm guessing 5" across near the ground. At 15' it's probably 3" across. I'm a little guy, just 145 pounds. Add a climber, rifle, some gear and now maybe 180?

So is that enough to be safe? Would a ladder stand leaning against it be safer than a climber?
they both gonna move when the wind blows. :)
I would use a ladder.
 

Justin

Old Mossy Horns
Depends on the species, the load placed on the tree, and branch attachment points..... oh wait, we’re talking hunting.... then again, as an arborist who’s made a considerable portion of his adult money in trees (literally), I tend to overthink the question. 😬


I’ll say this. Deer hunters typically err waaaaaaayyyyyyy on the side of caution when it comes to what will hold and what won’t.
 

nontypical

Six Pointer
Ladder. I don’t think a climber would grip a tree that small. Like Oldest School said, you gonna sway with any amount of breeze.

Or get you a light weight tripod.
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
they both gonna move when the wind blows. :)
I would use a ladder.
Exactly. It's not about whether it will hold you. It's how much it's going to shake when the wind blows, or even worse, how much it shakes when you shift your weight to prepare for the (bow) shot, and all the leaves on the tree start shaking. 3" across is about 7" too small for me to move around and not have limbs shaking. You ever tried to shoot over 100 yards with your tree swaying back and forth?

I'd go with the tree that's too big. Because I've never met a tree too big for a ladder stand and a ratchet strap. If you really need a stand where there's not a tree consider a tripod or a blind if you're shooting a rifle.
 

JJWise

Eight Pointer
also depends on your stand.. my treewalker likes bigger trees, and will go on trees a summit won't but the summit likes smaller trees.
Same here. My summit will get up trees that would be impossibly small for my guide gear climber. If your climber seems to grip the tree okay you should be fine, though I’d guess 5” would be on the lower limit.
 

Familyman

Ten Pointer
I'd vote against the 5"x3" tree for a climber or a ladder either one. I'm imagining 8"x5" to be about the minimum size I would want to rely on to remain fairly stable under normal wind conditions. I've utilized many a tiny tree over the years when in a pinch....and it was always a bit unnerving hunting them......always a sphincter-tightening experience. :oops:
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Tripod stand would work well in that situation, use the tree to break up the outline of the stand and be prepared to sit very still. If you get it up soon with a wrap of camo material the deer won't even look twice at it by the time the season comes in.
 

ncstatehunter

Twelve Pointer
don't know him but expect he in cover as well,,,or shooting long(ish) ranges
Not really, but he goes only as high as needed to not run out of what little cover he has and to not be seen from the buck bed he is hunting. Typically 60-80 yards from it so he can get them in bow range.
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Not really, but he goes only as high as needed to not run out of what little cover he has and to not be seen from the buck bed he is hunting. Typically 60-80 yards from it so he can get them in bow range.

exactly - it's about cover - I hunt from the ground if that is what is needed,,,,or three feet up or 29 feet up,,,wherever I need to be to have some cover

and that is what I was referring to in my original post on this thread,,,,hiding,,,
 

30/06

Twelve Pointer
Buddy and I went to Iowa, found a great pinch point, just really a brushy fence row. It had HUGE cottonwoods, no way a strap was getting around and these little bitty trees. Put a lone wolf in one of those little bitty trees, he looked like a squirrel sitting in it! We only could get it around 13 feet high cause the tree got too small. I was laughing the second night of the hunt, he was in that stand and the wind was blowing like crazy. I'd already killed one and was having a beer at the camper. He killed a 147 inch 10 pt that night.
 

ncstatehunter

Twelve Pointer
exactly - it's about cover - I hunt from the ground if that is what is needed,,,,or three feet up or 29 feet up,,,wherever I need to be to have some cover

and that is what I was referring to in my original post on this thread,,,,hiding,,,
Gotcha! I agree. I was thinking you meant a lot of cover versus the available he has for where he needs to be.
 

appmtnhntr

Ten Pointer
Dan Infalt isn’t a small guy and routinely kills giant public land deer in tiny trees only feet off the ground
People forget you don’t have to be way up high, just high enough.

I haven’t shot one from a tree since 2012, but you bet your butt I’ve shot them sitting on rocks, leaning dead trees, stump piles, etc.
just a couple feet.

Back to OP. Something that small is gonna be more of a fight than it’s worth.

You’ll fret about the sway the whole time you’re sitting in the stand instead of paying attention to hunting...
 
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