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Friday, July 30, 2010

The mystery of the missing fruit trees

About two weeks ago, I went out one morning and discovered that one of our peach trees was completely gone.  All that was left was about 18" of the trunk. There were not any branches on the ground or any signs of it being cut by a saw. At first I thought someone was in our garden.  The cut was fairly smooth with a little bit of grooves in it.

On Monday, the same scenario happened again. We were completely stumped (no pun intended).

Living in South Carolina, I didn't believe there were beavers here but the thought crossed our minds. Our property borders a neighbor's 5 acre pond and two smaller ponds and then a creek in the woods on the other side.

This morning, the third or our five peach trees suffered the same fate. We have a total of about 20 trees and they are about six years old so just producing for us!

We talked to one of our neighbors that has a pond and he said on the other side of the 5 acre pond at the spillway, they have discovered beavers building a home.

As I called around farm and garden centers, etc. the most popular solution was a rifle. One guy told me to open two cans of sardines and place them at the edge of the pond and then get a lawn chair and sit with a shotgun on our laps and wait for them to come for the sardines and shoot away!

We did find something called Ropel that you can spray on the trunks of trees that make it taste terrible and also gets on their paws. We bought it at a pest control place and used it last night and didn't lose another tree. We'll see if it works. I stayed out a dusk last night to see if we could see them (we were told they come out at dusk) but didn't see any!

We haven't had too good of luck with wildlife. We have had deer eat out strawberries, a duck get in our garage, the cats bringing rabbits into the house and now beavers stealing our trees!

1 comment:

  1. Daaaaang. For some reason it never occurred to me that they would go after live trees. But it certainly makes sense. Too bad you can't get a night-vision camera or something. Good luck!