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We now have beavers...

Posted by dottyinduncan z8b coastal BC (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 23, 08 at 11:31

Is there no end to the attacks on my garden? Families of deer wander at will, park squirrels showed up a few years ago, and now we have beavers! I walked down to the lakeshore yesterday and 6 trees have been felled into the lake and the 7th one, about 12 inches in diameter, is gnawed half through. We didn't have beavers on the lake until a few years ago so this is new to us. I just learned that one beaver will cut down 123 trees in a year...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: We now have beavers...

Well it could be worse. At least you don't have elk. Or those darn dragons - they'll burn up your whole garden.


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RE: We now have beavers...

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 23, 08 at 12:17

And turning the Northwest into a Desert.

Fence off all or part of your plantings or deer etc. will continue to wander through etc. at will. You can't count on any consistent behavior except repeated damage. Peeler poles with wire mesh deer netting can be quite effective, comparatively inexpensive and not highly visible. In fact, that seems to be part of the deterrence they provide - running deer may sometimes bound into such installations without seeing the mesh, be through onto their backs producing confusion and perhaps alarm.


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RE: We now have beavers...

I'm going to build a wall around my place and plant cactus along the top. We have more than enough rocks.


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RE: We now have beavers...

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 24, 08 at 11:37

How are you going to keep the dragons from flying over the wall?


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RE: We now have beavers...

Most of the plants I'm growing benefit from the occasional fire. I'm more concerned about the elk.


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RE: We now have beavers...

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 24, 08 at 15:04

Maybe if you could arrange to have the elk there when the dragons show up...

Deer leap very high, you are going to need quite a wall if you are trying to exclude those also. But a wall would give you a background to plant against even if it didn't keep out all unwanted animals. I'd just be mindful of air drainage patterns.


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RE: We now have beavers...

I'll let the elk and the dragons fight it out in the neighbors' realm. Do deer jump over things if they can't see where they're going to land? I hope not.

Actually, the plan is to plant a hedge of Grevillea victoriae around the perimeter of the property, then replace it 8-10 years down the road with a wall. Any better hedge suggestions? It has to tolerate moist or dry soil, sun or part shade, and be nearly deerproof, easy for me to propagate/mass produce, and dense growing without a lot of maintenance. The only problems I can think of with Grevillea victoriae is the tendency to flop over in the snow, and the tendency for it to possibly get leggy after 10+ years.


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RE: We now have beavers...

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 24, 08 at 21:06

That will shoot up quick and I don't think the deer are likely to bother it. Don't know about elk. Then there is the problem of it being a grevillea, posing the possibility of it freezing back just as it has built up some good size. Leaning over of this shrub with branches ending up going sideways across the top I have seen primarily here, I believe because I planted 4" pot size plants that were probably already afflicted with deformed root systems - and at Windcliff, where the same specimen is beginning to develop a branch dieback problem for some reason. Maybe it is rootbound and beginning to girdle itself.

The now overly common Pacific wax myrtle also shoots up quickly, and might be a good choice. 'Skylark' ('Victoria') ceanothus is another that would develop rapidly and should be possible to produce or purchase in quantity, in small sizes. Like other California lilacs there is always the possibility of leafhoppers spoiling the foliage appearance in summer or a nasty winter killing it back.

Classics yew, holly and box are enduring but slow. Box looks much better with some shade and like yew must have good drainage. English holly is a weed here.


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If this is also supposed to deflect the animals

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 24, 08 at 21:10

...you might have to use one of the tall evergreen barberries with numerous long spines. After these filled in enough even the deer might not bother coming through. Would have to get them past the small stage without being prevented from developing or filling in, of course - the animals will be likely to make paths between them before they grow together.


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RE: We now have beavers...

My 6 foot chain link fence keeps deer and elk out. They have plenty of food outside the fence. My apple tree outside the fence gets regular visits from deer and elk herds.


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RE: We now have beavers...

Don't forget you've got vampires and werewolves up there by Sequim.....if you ask any teenaged girl.


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RE: We now have beavers...

Is that why they grow so much lavender? I hear it keeps vampires and werewolves at bay, except at Halloween....


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RE: We now have beavers...

I thought about Myrica, but the dry areas might be a little too dry for it to look nice and full. If I water it it could get big too fast. The other idea I had for a hedge was Yucca schottii. But then I'd have a problem when it comes time to remove them.

Grevillea victoriae has performed pretty well in my garden in Olympia and seems to make a nice dense plant in a variety of settings. I just hope it can handle my extremely rocky soil with little/no water once established. Maybe I should be looking at things that are even more deserty.


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RE: We now have beavers...

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 27, 08 at 22:53

I've got it growing slowly (but erectly) among salal etc. without irrigation on Camano Island. Deer prevented the gums planted in the same spot from developing. Other native indicators of a sunny dry spot present there are yerba buena and madrone. The watered grevillea near the house soon flopped over, has been cut back once already to get it going back up again. Recently I learned that the Colvos Creek nursery specimen was also cut down low to get it started over again. But it was being crowded by a Nootka rose.


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