Why Do Beavers Cut Down Trees? । The Unpredictable Reasons

Who would imagine that these 25 to 60-pound, adorable-looking animals cut down big-sized trees? No joke. They do it on a regular basis.

Beavers may look harmless at first glance, but they have two always-growing and self-sharpening teeth in front. These teeth can gnaw relentlessly at any wooden thing and almost obliterate it.

But why do beavers cut down trees with such efforts? 

Beavers are herbivore animals. They eat the soft inner layer of trees called cambium. They also eat twigs and leaves. On the other hand, their dams are built from tree branches, sticks, and mud. 

This is quite a fascinating side of these rodents. Having more in-depth knowledge of this trait might help anyone understand beavers better. 

Beavers Cut Down Trees

Beavers Cut Down Trees

Trees For Food, Trees For Dams!

Beavers are usually found in North America. Besides that, they can also be found in other European countries and Asia. They are semiaquatic animals who build dams on the water to live. 

Beavers cut down trees for various reasons. They eat the soft bark of trees. They also eat the leaves and twigs. Likewise, they don’t eat any non-plant food. 

Incidentally, they use strong tree branches, twigs, and mud to build dams. That is one of the reasons why beavers cut down trees.

Beavers Cut Down Trees

By the way, did you know beavers are the largest rodents after Capybaras? Have you ever wondered Where does a Capybaras Live?

Why Do Beavers Cut Down Trees?

Why Do Beavers Cut Down Trees

Building Dams

Beavers like to build dams on water. Whether it’s pond rivers, lakes, marshes, or wood areas, they live in dams and lodges. Their dams and lodges are made of wooden sticks, and tree branches. They also use leaves, twigs, mud, or any type of dirt. 

As a result, they need a lot of wood. Hence, they cut down trees. This might help understand how beavers build dams: How Do Beavers Build A Dam | BBC

Food Supplies

Right beneath the outer hard layer of trees is the soft layer of cambium. It is spongy and digestible for beavers. They are herbivores, so apart from leafy things, twigs and woods, beavers don’t eat anything else.

Since they need to find the layer, and they can’t digest the hard branches, beavers cut down the entire tree and look for wood to eat and wood to build dams and lodges.

Beavers Cut Down Trees


Beavers also use trees as protection. Even though beavers prefer to spend most of their time in the water, in winter seasons they like to make holes in cut-down trees and stay there for a while.

The dams and lodges built with these cut-down tree parts also help keep the beaver safe. They can stay out of reach r stay protected against predators.

Speaking of all these interesting facts about rodents, check out What is the Color of a Pet Mouse? Choose your Favorite Color

How Long Does A Beaver Take To Cut Down A Tree?

Beavers have sharp teeth and a strong set of jaws. Their front teeth never stop growing. So they have to keep gnawing at wood to make sure that they are in the right length. 

How Long Does A Beaver Take To Cut Down A Tree

There’s also an orange layer on the front of their front teeth. This enables the teeth to sharpen themselves while nibbling on trees. 

Depending on the type of tree, it usually takes 8 to 10 minutes for a beaver to cut off a well-grown tree. They normally cut down 180 to 200 trees in a year! That is quite a number of trees for these endangered species.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many trees do beavers cut down?

Beavers have been assumed to be able to cut down 180 to 200 trees in a year. They can live for 10-25 years. So by the end, they would have cut down about 50000 trees.

How many trees do beavers cut down

2.  What kind of trees do beavers cut down?

Beavers eat soft barks of trees. They typically prefer willow, aspen, cottonwood, and birch tree barks. They also like black cherry and apple trees. 

Likewise, they often cut down the whole tree and then keep aside barks for food and branches for dam building.


Although rare, beavers are known to have been kept as pets despite being wild animals. This is due to their adorable looks and unique features and characteristics. But regardless, they are surely not easy to deal with. 

Beavers cut down trees to use them to build dams and lodges. They eat the barks of different trees as well. They have sharp-growing trees and can live without water. This is why you would always find them around water bodies or wood surrounding areas.

There are many things to know about them. So knowing each fact and characteristic will help you deal with beavers in a better sense. 

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of RodentsFact.com. With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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