Sometimes in life, you find friends where you’d never expect it. Like when the designer that was helping us replace our couch found out we save beavers and donated a huge bag of leather upholstery scraps for our tail projects. Or when I was in the hospital and the night nurse recognized me from the news and said she was so happy we had saved the beavers in Martinez.
You learn that friends come in all kind of packages and you appreciate them however they’re wrapped. Which brings us to South Carolina.
Tricia Crumbley couldn’t believe it — the limbs of all four of her prized Japanese maples that canopied her ornamental waterfall pond lay on the ground around the gnawed stumps.
Chewed maple sticks were left underwater at the foot of the falls. The culprit couldn’t be more clear: beavers.
Except she lives in West Ashley’s Crescent subdivision, just off the saltwater Wappoo Cut, near brackish retention ponds fed by tides. In her 10 years there, she’s seen squirrels, opossum, raccoons and a fox. But the freshwater-loving beaver shouldn’t have been anywhere nearby.
“I just stood there with my mouth open,” she said. “I have no idea where they came from.”
So here’s a well-off looking woman in South Carolina with an ornamental fountain on a garden so large she needed to be told by the groundskeeper that something was eating her trees. I admit. I assumed the worst those for beavers and thought they’d not be long for this world.
“It is possible the sound of the running water (in the Crumbley’s waterfall) kicked-in a desire to dam up whatever was flowing and then once they discovered it was an ornamental pond, they turned their attention to the maples,” Butfiloski said.
Tricia Crumbley knows the beavers were doing what they are supposed to do.
“Just not here,” she preferred.
The couple didn’t try to trap their invaders. Instead, they put wire fencing around what’s left of their maples, turned off the waterfall and haven’t seen any more gnawing.
My goodness! I didn’t see that coming. To be honest, I never expected anyone in South Carolina to wrap trees, certainly not a wealthy home owner. I am so sorry misjudged you, Tricia. You are a thoughtful woman who solves problems thoughtfully.
Just in case you don’t want to see all that wire near your pond, you can also paint the threatened trees with sand paint which is less visually disruptive. I will see if I can let her know,
But as for the rumor that beavers were driven to chop down your trees because of the sound of running water- No.
Beavers were driven to chop down your trees because they were hungry.