Not your typical clear-cut: Mangled trees on Highway 2 cut for airport safety
Work done quickly to keep runway open results in 'butchered trees'
It's not unusual to see patches of clear-cut forest while driving along New Brunswick highways, but two patches of trees along Highway 2 near Moncton stand out.
The mostly spruce and birch trees north of the Greater International Airport, east of the junction with Route 15, aren't cut at the base of the trunk but look cracked in half, as if attacked from above.
According to Julie Pondant, corporate communications specialist at the Greater Moncton International Airport Authority, the trees aren't the victim of a rogue aircraft or a crazed lumberjack but the result of a rush job to keep the sight lines clear for pilots approaching the runway.
"It's for them to be able to visually see and for clearance underneath the aircraft."
With a laugh, she admitted, "it's true, it doesn't look pretty."
Pondant said the runway needed to be closed while the tree cutting was done for security reasons.
"They needed to be able to be sure that nothing would be landing or approaching at the time they were working in that area."
So the job, done by an excavator with a mulching attachment, was finished as quickly as possible, she said.
And CBC News wasn't the first to ask what happened.
Pondant said maintaining the trees is necessary under Transport Canada regulations and has to be done every few years, as vegetation grows.
"It will look prettier in the coming weeks, I would say. I'm hoping."