While we had been trimming up the fir trees that are growing along the fence line of the 26 acre field, beavers that hang out by the river were watching us. One particular fir tree that was about 20 years old, had limbs growing through the fence and poking through into the hay field.
Mike had limbed the tree above the fence about 6 feet high. The next day when we drove by to feed the cows, we noticed the base of the tree had been nibbled on. The white inner wood was exposed where beavers had torn off the bark around the base and up the tree. One side of the tree had strips of bark pulled off in foot long strips. The tree had been girdled, the protective layers of bark and cambriam removed around the base of the tree. This is where the sap and moisture travel the tree from the ground to the branches, it’s like exposing and cutting the jugular vein in a mammal. The tree, without its life-blood will surely die.
The beavers did not wait for the slow death of the tree. It took only three days for the tree to be felled and dragged down the hill toward the river. This was not a little feat. The tree was bulky and heavy. Many branches were nibbled off and hauled away in an effort to streamline the load.
I was surprised that the beavers picked this tree, it was nearly 50 yards(half a football field) from the river. This was quite an ambitious job for the critters. Our native landscapers seem to let us know their preferences when we interupt their domain.