Arboretum unleashes high-powered weed fighter: Goats

Goats being led to pasture in the Arnold Arboretum

Caitlinn Driscoll Cannon watched yesterday as a goat herder walk a flock of four to their first day of work on the Peters Hill side of the Arboretum, where they'll munch away the thick underbrush near the train tracks and Arborough Road, then be moved to a new area for more tasty weeds.

Getting used to their new home:


The regal goat:


Some admirers:


The Arboretum is testing out the goats, on loan from a goatscaping company, to see how well they're do against a variety of weeds, including Japanese bittersweet, poison ivy and buckthorn:

If this method of biological control proves successful, the program may be expanded in the future and enable the Arboretum to minimize chemical controls, reduce mowing, and help us keep our plants and environment healthier. Space cleared by the goats will make room to further develop the Arboretum’s plant collections, an important element of the institution’s 10-year Campaign for the Living Collections.

The Arboretum adds:

The goats’ fenced enclosure is electrified, and can cause serious harm - please exercise caution and do not touch it. Keep all dogs leashed in the Arnold Arboretum landscape.

Over the last two summers, the city used goats to clear poison ivy from an urban wild along the Neponset River in Hyde Park. The state also used the caprines along the Charles in Watertown.

H/t Keep Roslindale Quirky.



    Free tagging: 


    No way.

    By on

    Serena Williams is the GOAT but she's busy this week breaking records.

    Not only that

    By on

    He he's already on a similar diet. Greens, Bird seed and such.


    Tom may be out to pasture, but that doesn't make him a LANDscapegoat.


    By on

    Maybe they can also scare all the unleashed dogs away.

    Shorter List

    By on

    Plants that goats do not eat.

    Yes, they do - but not while standing in the water. They don't like that!

    Everything. Goats eat

    By on

    Everything. Goats eat everything. And fear is their bacon bits.