We received the following potential solutions for protecting trees from beaver damage from a Senior Conservation Officer with the Government of Saskatchewan:
DIY TRUNK GUARDS
Place homemade tree guards around the trunk. The guards should be about three feet high and made of galvanized welded wire (2 x 2 or 2 x 3 inch is recommended). This material can be found in any large hardware or home improvement store, usually sold as fencing. Try not to use the lighter chicken wire, as it is generally too flimsy to provide good protection.
Finer-mesh screening – such as that used for windows as bug screen – is more expensive, but usable if welded wire is unavailable. It can be especially effective in protecting small (two- to six-inch-in-diameter) ornamental or specimen trees.
Guards may need to be pinned to the ground around larger trees, mulching within the guard to keep weeds at bay.
PAINT & SAND
The USDA has shown some success in protecting trees by painting their base with a mixtrue of coarse mason’s sand (30-70 mil) and exterior latex paint. (The ratio is twenty ounces of sand to one gallon of paint).
The abrasive quality of the mixture may deter beavers. The paint color can be matched to the tree so it will blend in.
BLOCKING TREES WITH FENCING
Because beavers are not good climbers, three- to four-foot-high fencing can also be a highly effective way to block their access to larger groves.
Check the fences frequently to make sure they are intact and that beavers haven’t pushed under them, especially where the fences cross established haul-outs, where beavers like to come from water to land.
An electrified wire strung approximately four inches off the ground can also prevent beaver from entering an area. This type of fence can be especially effective in a small garden or crop plot when set up to protect plants for a few weeks and taken down afterward.