North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Beaver Management: Tree Girdling

Option 1: Exclusion

Beavers and muskrats frequently cut ornamentals and fruit trees near water. Trees can be protected from cutting or girdling by fencing the tree with hardware cloth or similar wire mesh extending 2-3 feet above the ground or high water level. Do not wrap the fencing tightly around the tree or the beaver will be able to chew on the bark.

Black or aluminum roof coating painted on tree trunks may reduce gnawing damage by beavers.

To protect larger areas, such as orchards or nurseries, standard fencing is usually sufficient since beavers are poor climbers, rarely burrow underneath fences.

Option 2: Trapping

Trapping is the most effective and practical method for beaver population control and management. In many cases, landowners need to do no more than contact a local trapper to trap beavers. Many trappers will be happy to trap beavers during the regular trapping season, especially if they receive permission to harvest other furbearers.



Even without trapper assistance, landowners may be able to remove beavers from problem areas themselves. Click here to learn basic beaver trapping techniques.

Option 3: Shooting

There is an open season for taking beaver with firearms or bow and arrow throughout the year. Permission must be obtained from the owner or lessee of the land on which the beaver is being taken.