A Busy Beaver Chomps Dozens Of Trees In Gillson Park In Wilmette, Including Memorials Honoring Late Residents

Mike Krauser
December 07, 2019 - 2:19 pm

WILMETTE, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A beaver is wreaking havoc in a park on the lakefront in Wilmette. 

Wilmette resident Ted Marshall started seeing and documenting the damage around Thanksgiving in Gillson Park. 

Trees, many of them small birched, appear downed by a beaver or beavers.   

(Ted Marshall)

On subsequent visits, including this week, he found more damage: some trees chewed through and some knocked over completely, about a dozen in total.

Wilmette Park District Executive Director Steve Wilson said capturing the beaver now will be a "waste of money" with cold temperatures around the corner.

"We’re looking at spring, hopefully in the March timeframe to try and do something of a permanent solution with relocation," Wilson said.

Tree down
The beaver chewed through about a dozen trees total, some falling completely off. (Ted Marshall)

Nobody has reported seeing the beaver or beavers — they tend to work at night — but they’ve seen the handiwork. 

Wilson said some of the trees have so much damage that they likely will not survive.

“This is new for me," he said. "(The beavers like) mostly birchwood trees.”

He said most of the trees hit by the beaver's work were around 3 inches in diameter, though some are larger and are not all birch.

The park district is putting wire mesh around the base of trees in the park to keep the beaver away. (Ted Marshall)

In the meantime, he said the park district is putting wire mesh around the base of trees in the park, which, he said works. 

Some of the trees that fell were planted as part of memorials of late Wilmette residents. Wilson said Wilmette will cover the cost of re-planting them.

“Many of the trees were memorial trees, some we’re going to try to contact the families and work with them in replacing those."