Beavers wreak havoc near Bedford Commons

Beavers1cutline_2-8-2018Beavers have been busy creating what some people view as damage near a small body of water located in a park setting at the end of Bedford Ave and Abbott Martin Rd in Green Hills.

“The big telling thing was the teeth marks all along these huge trees,” said Bedford Commons HOA Board Member, and building owner at the Bedford Ave. Properties, Chip Fridrich.

“I didn’t even know beavers were indigenous to Green Hills”.

Trees located near Bedford Commons were first noticed to have vanished three weeks ago.

“One day we saw where a tree had mysteriously disappeared,” Fridrich said.

“There was no sign of the limb, the whole tree was just gone”.

The initial missing tree was previously located near the park’s flagpole.

“We knew pretty much it was caused by an animal,” he said.

“Vandalism kind of entered our mind, but just the fact these beavers can take these trees and haul them off, it just goes to show their strength”.

Fridrich said he and other property discovered more trees that had been gnawed to their base.

“You could see it was like a pencil almost,” he described.

“There was no sight of several of the trees”.

After noticing the first two trees, Fridrich walked along the bank of the nearby creek and saw where beavers had taken down several trees along Sugartree Creek, as well as trees alongside his building, the offices of Fridrich, Pinson & Associates.

“We just kind of came out one day and saw this tree was just a nub of a tree stump was left, and one was completely gone at the base, so then we started looking around and noticed the ones around our building,” said Fridrich.

“A lot of damage had been done to the ones kind of up against our building and then it just continued”.
After noticing the damage Fridrich called Hallie Starnes of Rochford Realty, who is the property manager for the area.

Starnes then contacted Hunter Ellen, of Nashville Critter Ridders, to trap and remove the beavers.
Ellen wished not to comment on beaver removal, in fear that people may remove the traps he currently has in place around the pond.

Fridrich said the trapper assessed the area and verified that beavers in fact caused the damage.

“The trapper set a trap  and caught the beaver,” said Fridrich.

“We thought that was the last of our problems, but apparently not because just last week two more trees were taken down”.

Beavers use their teeth to cut down trees to create dams in waterways.

This can be beneficial in some areas, but in others the beavers can be problematic, damage to trees and by building dams that may eventually cause the area to flood.

The damaged trees near the Bedford Commons varied in size and species, but included an oak tree, and 5-6 inch caliper trees.

“The beaver even attempted to take down 70-80 year-old trees,” said Fridrich.

“There were chew marks all along those trees too”.

The nuisance animals are believed to have hauled the trees across the pond, and then up the bank of the creek.

“We’re talking 15-20 inch trees that had been there for forever,” he added.

“The bases of them had just been gnawed off”.

The bases of the trees were wrapped in material to prevent further damage, but even that has yet to halt further attempts by the beavers to build their dams.

Just the other day a beaver was caught on video camera installed at the location attempting to take down even more trees.

Fridrich said a stronger metal material has since been put in place to protect the trees until the remaining beaver is removed.

“And there are several trees around our building that we own that after the fact we noticed were completely taken down to the nub

“I would say it’s several thousand dollars worth of damage that’s been done, easily,” said Fridrich.

“I know one of those oak trees they took down was a 14 or 15-hundred-dollar tree… definitely in the thousands as far as the damage”.

It was discovered that beavers in the area were building a dam along the creek.

Fridrich said the beavers are problematic because lot of money was put into the retention pond and to beautify the area.

“We are just trying to beautify that and make it a grand entrance for the whole street is the goal,” he said.

“A lot of effort, time and resources went into it to make it nice”.

Fridrich said he was told there is an area not far from the Bedford Commons that recently had approximately 60 trees taken out by other beavers.

“They are nocturnal, they come out at night and do it all,” said Fridrich.

“We’ve been told by people that if we didn’t do anything the beavers would take down every tree”.

“We don’t necessarily want to be killing anything,” Fridrich said.

“We want to try and catch and release in the wild, I mean, that is the goal”.

He said that he and other property owners wish the beavers would just do their damage somewhere else.

“Right now we are just trying to save what trees we have. Maybe covering the rest of these trees up so the beaver will move on to somewhere else.”

Fridrich said after the recent removal of a beaver, others still remain and continue to cause trouble.

“I don’t know if we made the surviving beaver, the one that’s left here, angry by taking his friend or brother or whatever away, but it was just strange how right after we did that, this beaver went on a rampage,” said Fridrich.

Attempts to trap and remove the beavers will continue until all are gone.

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By Gloria Ruth Finney
Contributor to The News