It’s hard not to notice all of the Scotch broom invading the north coast this time of year when the yellow flowers conspicuously dot the landscape. We now refer to the month of May as Broom Buster month, and during this time we are working (extra!) hard to cut back the Scotch broom on NCLC properties. Do you have Scotch broom on your own property? Are you wondering about ways to get rid of the broom in your back yard?
Small infestations can be effectively treated with basic hand tools (and a lot of dedication). Scotch broom plants produce prolific seeds that are extremely long-lived, so if you have mature plants in your yard you are certain to have a good crop of seeds waiting eagerly for some bare soil and disturbance. For this reason, using a weed wrench to pull-out mature plants or a shovel to dig out large plants, can actually do more harm than good. The one big plant you kill by ripping it out of the soil, makes great habitat for 50 young broomlings to take its place. A more effective (and easier) way to get rid of a mature Scotch broom plant is to simply cut it (with loppers, hand saw, or chain saw depending on size) below the photosynthetic stem (where the stem is at or below ground level, and brown not green). If you cut it too high on the stem, the plant will continue to photosynthesize and will just resprout from the existing stem. If you cut the stem down low enough, however, the plant will not resprout and the ground will remain undisturbed.
For more information on Scotch broom control in the Pacific Northwest, click here.
Thanks for helping us get rid of Scotch broom on the Oregon Coast!