The problem with ephemeralstability's suggestion is the rule of three. There should always be at least three ways that a PC can get solve a situation. Just because you might think to cut down the trees, doesn't mean that the players will. Basically, you wind up putting all of your eggs in a single basket, and that basket is being held by a three year old.
I suggest something simple. For example, send them to get the Thrivval out of its hole. What is a thrivval you ask. I'll tell you. A thrivval is a, I don't know what a Thrivval is, but make something up.
Anyway, you now leave your players with a few options. Lure the creature out. Chase it out, cast a spell to get it out, Dig up the hole and grab the darn creature, fill it's hole with water until it swims out.
Come up with a bunch of standard solutions to this problem of getting a thrivval out of it's hole. Then come up with some really out there solutions. Maybe the Thrivval likes feet, and if the players take off their shoes, it will come to them. Have this information available for them if they start asking around about the thrivval.
Or you could make a Thrivval a creature that doesn't exist. The elven king wants them to go away, what would work better than sending them on an impossible mission. If however, they realize the situation, they could come back to the king (where he would send them to do something for real), or if they are creative, they can glue some pine cones to a duck, and call it a Thrivval. Amused that they had completed an impossible task, the king could grant the request.