Assisting beavers to save trees?

We have beavers on our streams. They make dams from sticks and saplings up to about 2" in diameter. One colony, however, has gnawed down a 10" tree and I have watched it for over 4 weeks now and they have not tried to reduce it in order to add it to their damn. Then, today, I noticed they have taken down an 8" tree that is even closer to their dam. I am wondering if I were to chainsaw these two trees into manageable sections, 6' or so, would the beavers spend their time using them to for their dam or would they just continue to ignore them and take out more of our riparian buffer?

Mr. Stephen,


If the Beavers wanted to use the 10" tree for building material they would have done so. Had the tree fallen in thier pond, they would have waited for some high-water event to float the tree until it became lodged in the stream and then used it as an "anchor" to build a new dam. I'm sure they cut it down simply to eat the inner bark and to keep their teeth in shape (being a rodent, their teeth are continually growing and they have to chew on something).


And yes, they will continue to chew-down some of the larger trees in your buffer. In fact, without any natural predators, I've seen them travel 200' or more (in MS and TN) from their pond/lake to chew and eat on their preferred trees.


If the actions of this colony of Beavers is going to be a problem for you, there is only one effective solution - reduce or stabilize their population. Not knowing your "feelings" towards trapping, I hesitate to recommend this action, but it's about the only viable solution for Beaver control. However, since a colony can have from 6 to 10 Beavers at any one time, reducing their numbers isn't the same as trying to eliminate the population (which I don't advocate, all living creatrures should be allowed to coexsit with us). The laws of your State, with regards to trapping, would have to be followed. For example, in Mississippi Beavers are considered "nuisance animals" and can taken by any method at any time, as long as the person has a valid hunting or trapping license.