Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, September 21, 2021

Press Release

Hydro-Québec inaugurates an urban forest in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville

On this day that marks the 10th anniversary of National Tree Day, Hydro-Québec is inaugurating an urban forest of 360 trees on its land in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville. The forest was developed as part of a test bench project—the very first of its kind in the world.

A total of 180 trees were planted in the project’s initial phase, and 180 more will be added in the weeks to come.

The test bench aims to achieve several goals: 

  • Reduce the number of outages caused by vegetation while limiting the costs of vegetation management
  • Foster urban biodiversity and vegetation development near power lines by reconciling tree growth and the presence of Hydro-Québec’s power system
  • Contribute to the expansion of the tree canopy in municipalities
  • Expand our knowledge of the impacts of different tree species and pruning techniques on water interception, heat mitigation, pollution reduction and carbon fixation and understand how the species affect soil biology and fertility

Professor Christian Messier, who holds the NSERC-Hydro-Québec Industrial Research Chair on Control of Tree Growth, will study the repercussions of a range of techniques, including the use of stakes, geotextile hoods and directional pruning, on branch development in the six tree species that make up the urban forest.


  • Total of 360 trees
  • Total of six species: silver maple, common hackberry, honey locust, northern catalpa, bur oak and accolade elm
  • Techniques to regulate tree growth: directional pruning and use of stakes and hoods
  • Studies on the impacts of urban trees on ecosystem services
  • Project of international scope
  • Study period: 15 years
  • Planned investments in vegetation control by Hydro-Québec in 2021: $100 million


“This urban forest will play a very important role for us, since 40% to 70% of outages are caused by vegetation. The coexistence of trees alongside our power system is a constant challenge for Hydro-Québec, and, this year, to ensure the quality of the electricity service, we intend to invest $100 million in our activities to control vegetation growth near power lines.”

Éric Filion, Executive Vice President – Distribution, Procurement and Shared Services, Hydro-Québec

“The test bench is the first of its kind in the world. To date, there have not been any scientific publications on the topic. By studying the impacts of various growth regulation techniques on the trees, we hope to be able to foster biodiversity in cities across Québec and reduce the need for pruning services.”

Christian Messier, NSERC chairholder



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