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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, they won. Those darned beavers took down every last one of our beautiful old apple trees. The orchard was planted long before we came, probably 30 or 40 years ago, next to a pretty stream that feeds the pond on our property. Unfortunately, the little critters found it the perfect place to fell the trees, and float them down the stream, and across the pond to their dam. Now we are faced with starting over. I don't know what kind of apples they were. They were small, green and red, crisp, and sweet/tart. I would like to place the new trees closer to the house. We are in zone 5, and have clay soil that we enrich with lots of aged manure. I prefer not to use chemical sprays. Can anyone suggest a good source for reasonably priced trees? I would like apples with an old fashioned flavor, that aren't too disease prone. They don't have to be big or pretty. Any suggestions on variety? Would standard or dwarf be better? I'm sure the old ones were standard. We kept them pruned (a skill which I am only now getting good at after 10 years of practice!). Right now, I only get the regular seed catalogs with a couple of trees offered. There must be some company that specializes in fruit trees. Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Darren!
Unfortunately, the den is not on my property, it is on the neighbors. Our ponds are seperated by only a narrow piece of land. They have taken care of a beaver problem once before. Beaver season starts on Dec. 26 here, and I believe that they are making arrangements with a trapper. I will be putting the new orchard near the barnyard. We have 2 very large German Shepherds who have access to that area. The old orchard was quite far from the house. We have suffered terrible drainage problems since early last summer, but we didn't discover the little pests until last month. Your suggestions were wonderful! I'll be passing them along to the neighbor. It was disappointing to lose what may have been heritage trees, but at least we won't have to trek quite so far for apples any more! Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am in north eastern Ohio. The man who owns the property where the den is does not believe in hunting of any kind. Believe me, my husband would gladly kill them with his bare hands at this point! If we were to catch them on our land, we could do whatever we want with them, but if the neighbor caught us hunting them at his place, it would mean war (he patrols his woods during deer shotgun season, and confronts any hunters that wander through!). To make it to the new orchard, a beaver would have to get past two fences, two German shepherds, a border collie, and a handful of hysterical ducks and chickens! Dixielee, I think you are right about the mail order trees. I was looking at some last night, and the thought of spending $20 a piece on trees that may be twigs is hard to swallow. I guess I'll just visit lots of garden centers in the spring. No one has to twist my arm to shop at garden centers! By the way, how strong are beavers? If I set the dogs on them, could the dogs be hurt? The big dogs are not the best at vermin control, but the border collie has killed very large racoons, and has absolutely no fear. She's getting older, though, and I wouldn't want to endanger her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks ox, that is great advice! I never even thought about the trees re-growing, but it would be so wonderful! I will definately have DH make some wraps to go around the stumps. They are chewed off about 20 inches up, I think. I think that they are following the deer trail. There are a lot of little trees chewed off along the trail that goes around the pond. Maybe we should set traps there. Our nights have been going down into the teens, with lots of snow, so I think he would be reluctant to hunker down and wait for one to cross his path! Thanks again! Who knows, maybe the trees will grow back healthier!
 
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