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Montreal using horses to haul away 5,000 beetle-infested trees
March 30, 2018
Vanessa Lee

Officials in Montreal are taking a centuries-old approach to help get rid of a beetle infestation in one of the city’s largest parks.

Last summer, the city of Montreal found the emerald ash borer, a beetle typically found in northern Asia that can be destructive to certain foliage, had infested nearly 10,000 trees in Mount Royal, a park in downtown Montreal.

To limit the spread of these beetles, city officials have been treating about half the trees, but the other half need to be cut down and hauled away.

Horses are being used to haul away beetle-infested trees in Montreal

Rather than taking a more modern day approach, the city has been using a pair of Belgian draft horses named Daniel and Jack to haul away the 600-pound logs.

“Horses can get to the trees without damaging the mountain's delicate vegetation,” forestry engineer Guillaume Couture told CTV Montreal in French.

Daniel and Jack take turns working for a few hours at a time and have a shelter on-site for rest. Together, they haul about 200 logs each week.

Montreal mayor Valerie Plante said the project has thus far been a success.

“We did look into the different details and the working conditions for those horses,” she told reporters recently. “We did talk with the SPCA, so we did a lot of searching before saying yes to it, it's a pilot (project), turns out that it's working very well.”