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Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.) Rhododendrons, heaths, arbutus, and other members of the heath family.

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Old August 30th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Would a beaver cut down an arbutus?

Strange question, but it's serious! I live on the New Westminster Quay and have noticed that an Arbutus about 6-8 ft tall has grown on the rock embankment
between our building and the river. It looks really healthy and it would be great to
see it grow there. But there is at least one beaver in the vicinity (I think it lives on
poplar island), which we've seen when walking our dog at night. It has cut down
other similar sized trees on the embankment, so I'm worried that the arbutus might be in danger.

I don't know how the arbutus came to grow at this location, I haven't seen any
others near here. The city of new westminster has planted various things along
the embankment, so maybe they did it? However it got there, it is great to see it!
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Old August 31st, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Douglas Justice Douglas Justice is offline
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Re: Would a beaver cut down an arbutus?

An arbutus on the Quayside? Can you be more precise about its whereabouts? I would love to check it out (I live nearby).

I am not an expert in the feeding habits of beavers (to put it mildly), but in my experience, they tend to bring down trees with soft wood. Because arbutus wood is very hard, and there is a nearly endless supply of cottonwood in that area (i.e., on Poplar Island and the adjacent, undeveloped margins of the Fraser River), I wouldn't worry about it.
Douglas Justice
Associate Director
Curator of Collections
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Old August 31st, 2005, 11:56 PM
PG Greenthumb PG Greenthumb is offline
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Re: Would a beaver cut down an arbutus?


I agree with Douglas / However if you are worried about it pick up a few feet of chicken wire and Duct tape it around the trunk to @ the height of 3 feet.

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Old September 8th, 2005, 10:42 AM
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Re: Would a beaver cut down an arbutus?

Thanks for the opinions, I also was thinking that it was probably safe from the
beaver, as they would likely have cut it down by now if they liked it.

I sent an email to the city of New Westminster, which was forwarded to their Parks
Horticulture Manager. He replied to me saying that they had planted it a few
years ago, along with a Gary Oak. He wanted to plant a few native trees that might
do well in the dry rocky area.

The location of the tree is at the westernmost end of the Quay, by Rialto Court.
It is on the embankment, midway between the last two lights along the river,
on the river side of the white metal railing. If you approach from the east,
you won't see it until you're nearly on it, as it will be behind a large butterfly bush.
The arbutus is probably close to 10 feet tall, and very healthy looking.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Re: Would a beaver cut down an arbutus?

I just noticed last night that there is another young arbutus on the embankment
along the Quay. This one is just a couple metres west of the train bridge. Funny, I've looked at it numerous times and it wasn't until my wife said "isn't that an arbutus?" last night that I realized it was! This one isn't quite as tall as the other, but it's also very healthy looking.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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GRSJr GRSJr is offline
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Re: Would a beaver cut down an arbutus?

Can;t say about Arbutus as we have none. But, Beavers we do have. Our experience has been that they only cut down Named Varieties. Native Pines. Cedars, Oaks. and Beech are left alone for the mostpart, but Prunus mume, Magnolia virginiana, and even Pyracantha are all fair game.

I had to surround all trunks with a 30 inch high wire-mesh fence to prevent loosing even more trees.
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