Local gnawer hard at work at park

An industrious beaver appears to have been hard at work already this winter.

Numerous trees have been gnawed on at the north entrance to Roosevelt Park causing hundreds of dollars of damage to the park.

Of the 10 trees damaged, two were completely chewed off in the familiar, conical wedge shape. Eight were on the north side of the park entrance road, with the other two farther off the road on the south side. One on each side was completely chewed through.

The trees are flowering crabapples and the culprit appears to be a single beaver, according to city forester Brian Johnson.

“Anytime they eat off that outer bark like that, over time they (the trees) will die,” said park horticulturalist Steve Wharton. “So none of them are salvageable once the beaver starts on them.”

“I noticed it the beginning of last week,” Johnson said of the damage. “That’s all from last week.”

“They had already started building a dam when we saw what they were doing to the trees,” Wharton said, adding that dams, especially with significant depth and size, “could effect waterflow, especially through the main channel there … and they (beavers) are definitely capable of doing that.”

The city called an animal removal expert from North Dakota Game and Fish to trap the beaver and put it somewhere else.

Wharton said that he has seen some other evidence of damage to trees in the city, like in Oak Park, but that the biggest problem this year has definitely been this recent Roosevelt Park event.

“They are a wonderful creature,” he said. “But they can sure be destructive.”