Do beavers eat wood?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “do beavers eat wood?” We will also discuss how Beavers cut trees and also discuss how they make use of wood. We will also address what Beavers are.

Do beavers eat wood?

No beavers do not eat wood or even trees as it is believed by many people. What beavers do is feed on the inner part of tree barks and also make use of the soft wood inside the tree barks. They eat the cambium of the tree barks but not the tree wood themselves.  Beavers split out wood from the tree barks by chewing the bark. 

Beavers like most animals are Herbivores.  Beavers eat leaves, shrubs, vines, roots, grasses, stems, and Cattails. Beavers make use of their incisors to cut through trees but do not necessarily eat wood. The gut of Beavers has microorganisms that help in digesting cellulose of up to 30% of their total diet. 

During winter, Beavers eat branches that they store before the winter season in their lodges. 

What are Beavers?

Beavers are rodents that are large in nature and semi-aquatics. There are two species including Eurasian Beavers and North America Beavers. The North American Beavers are also called Castor canadensis.

The Castor fiber also named Eurasian beavers have a weight of about 30 kg and are 130cm in length, They have narrower tails with their skulls being smaller than the  Castor canadensis ones. 

The North American beavers on the other hand are shorter than Eurasian Beavers with a length of about 30cm and a weight of 28kgs. 

Both species are found on land but also in water bodies. In water, Beavers can stay for more than 15 minutes. They can run up to 5 miles per hour because of their feet being webbed and having flat tails.

The feet of Beavers are dextrous in nature making it possible for them to hold objects. Beavers use whiskers to detect sounds due to their poor vision. They easily see into the water due to a transparent membrane that covers their eyes in the water. Their ears are made of valves that easily shut when the Beavers go into the water and therefore enable them to hear easily underwater.

How do Beavers make use of Wood?

Aside from Beavers chewing the tree bark Cambium, Beavers also use the wood they cut out for making lodges and also constructing dams. Beavers are very good architects.

Dams made by Beavers are a combination of mud, grass, rocks, twigs, and sticks. The Beavers use these parts to make their homes.  For the lodges, Beavers use them as chambers in water lines. They make the lodges in such a way that they have skylights and passageways.

These lodges are helpful as a protection shelter from Otters, bears, wolves, coyotes, and other predators. They also use these lodges as shelter during winter when they hibernate. 

Beavers also build dams that help them in creating ponds to prevent erosion and also reduce water runoff. Dams in the end help keep the lodges in a safe position and also add an extra layer of protection from the sight of predators.

How does Beaver cut trees?

Beaver has incisors that are long and grow continuously in their lifespan to help them in cutting trees. Beavers have iron in their teeth which acts as a protective coating to the enamel hence making the teeth strong and giving their teeth an orange color.

The incisors of Beavers do wear out but not evenly. This makes the incisors have a chisel shape that enables the Beavers to make cutting through the wood easily. They make a way through the tree trunks to a point where the tree can topple over and eventually fall.

Beavers are able to up to 150 wood chips for a wood that is estimated to have a diameter of 5 inches.One Beaver can do this work. Many Beavers coming together can topple a tree trunk in minutes.

There are different types of trees that Beavers easily cut through. They cut through trees that are fast-growing and soft in nature. They also cut through trees found near streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. Examples of these trees include Black cherry, Alder, Oak, Polar, Maple, Aspen, Willow, and Cottonwood.

For more details on the importance of Beavers to the environment. Click here


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “do beavers eat wood?” We have also discussed what Beavers are and how they make use of Wood. We have also discussed how they manage to cut trees.

Hope you find this blog useful, in case of any questions, please let us know.

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