Animal tree damage

Asked September 17, 2019, 9:12 AM EDT

I recently noticed some tree damage in my back yard. We have a pond within 50’ - 100’ of the two damaged trees. Some have said it is beaver damage. I wanted to get another opinion and what I can do about it. One tree has 360 degree damage which will kill the tree. The other has 180 degree bark loss. That tree may survive. I read to not do anything (ie tar) and let it try to heal itself. Should it be fertilized. That tree is s specimen purple birch tree 25-30 feet high. Please let me know your thoughts.

Howard County Maryland

3 Responses

This looks like beaver damage and we do not recommend any type of pruning paint. We do not think either tree will survive. However, you can keep the tree watered during dry periods and monitor for new growth next spring. We suggest protecting other valuable trees with wire barriers. Take a look at our website for more information and photos.

Trees in the landscape receive nutrients from turf fertilization, grass clippings, fallen leaves and natural soil fertility. If your lawn is fertilized, the tree will benefit from this. Fertilize only according to soil test results. They will give you pH and nutrient deficiencies.

If you would like an onsite diagnosis regarding the trees, pleases contact a certified arborist for the best way to proceed.


Hi Marian, does the extension trap beavers for county residents?

No, we do not. Check out the MD Department of Natural Resources page under "wildlife help" about how to deal with problem beavers.

Beavers are beneficial to the environment and can only be removed by licensed wildlife operators.