Don’t say it never can happen Now we’re wrapping trees in Indiana. YES Indiana!
Beavers becoming a gnawing problem along rivers in downtown Fort Wayne
Volunteers have begun wrapping the base of large trees with metal hardware cloth to protect them.
City officials still are debating and discussing downtown riverfront development, but some of Nature’s engineers already have bit into the project with their own plans.
Several beavers living in the rivers in downtown Fort Wayne have been gnawing the bark off the base of large trees along the riverbanks, which eventually kills the trees and can lead to the tree falling into the river, said Dan Wire, a lifelong user of local rivers and executive director of the locally based Tri-State Watershed Alliance.
“What we have found is the beavers really like the cottonwoods and willow trees,” Wire said. The loss of the trees also causes other problems, because river willows are really good at stabilizing stream banks to prevent erosion, he said.
That’s why he and several students from The Crossing braved the cold Friday to wrap hardware cloth, a type of metal fencing, around the bases of large trees growing on the east side of the St. Marys River along the grounds of the Old Fort, 1201 Spy Run Ave. The Crossing works with students who have struggled in traditional school settings to improve their academic success, provide job training and offer faith-based character education.
The hardware cloth prevents beavers from chewing on the tree bark underneath, protecting the tree, Wire said. People aren’t allowed to hunt or trap wild animals in city parks or within 500 feet of them, which would include the area around the Old Fort and Headwaters Park.
Okay, first of all, we’re really happy you’re wrapping trees instead of trapping straight outta the gate. Maybe the photographer is confused but that’s not a beaver chew mark. Beavers don’t just take the bark, like nibbling the chocolate outer coating off an oreo. They want to sharpen their teeth on the creamy inner goodness too, and they want that tree to fall so the part they REALLY want, all those leaves and little branches, falls down where they and their kids can reach it.
Second of all, we’re not wild about hardware cloth. It’s a pain to cut for one – and fasten – and I’m not convinced its strong enough to discourage some really hungry beaver in winter. And btw you should leave room for the tree to grow. And for Pete’s sake your name is WIRE so why didn’t you use WIRE like almost every smart person who wants this work?