Either a lone or several beavers targeted and damaged a minimum of 15 cherry trees at the Washington Tidal Basin overlooked by the Jefferson Memorial, The Washington Post (WaPo) reported Tuesday.
The majority of the cherry trees that adorn the highly regarded tourist attraction suffered minor damages. However, two particular trees were “girdled, with bark shredded all the way around the trunk,” according to WaPo. Those same cherry trees came as a gift from Japan back in 1912 and have called the Tidal Basin home ever since.
The beaver or beavers behind the damages are “just doing what comes naturally” to the species, Mike Litterst, communications chief for the National Mall and Memorial Parks said, according to WaPo.
A hungry beaver or perhaps multiple beavers have damaged at least 15 cherry trees at the Washington Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. https://t.co/g7b4O4Iq6c
— Post Local (@postlocal) November 21, 2023
Beavers reportedly up the ante with their search for food in the spring and fall, Litterst noted.
At present, the Park Service has no course of action as to how to eradicate the rodent activity tainting the trees, WaPo reported. (RELATED: US National Parks’ Social Media Is Utterly Unhinged, Totally Addictive)
The spokesman said trapping “would be an absolute last resort,” WaPo noted.
In total, there are some 1,700 trees in the general area of the Tidal Basin section of the national landmark, according to WaPo. Approximately 3,800 trees spread out across the entirety of the park, according to the National Parks Service government website. (RELATED: Fire Destroys 100-Year-Old National Landmark In The Philippines)
Since so few of the cherished cherry trees were damaged in proportion to the number that exist, WaPo pointed out if it was more than one beaver behind the bitten bark, it was only a small group of them.
The only way a sizable amount of the trees could be seriously threatened would be if beavers in the area decided to collectively construct a dam, which doesn’t seem to be happening at this time, WaPo reported. If that were the case, however, the famed cherry trees could be wiped out in just one night.
The recently damaged trees can be found on the southern end of the Tidal Basin, per WaPo.