COMMUNITY CUTS - Over for the Year
Campbell River to Duncan in 2016
Thanks to all for a great year!
Broombusters celebrated its 10th
Anniversary! Qualicum Beach is
almost completely broom-bloom free.
Campbell River is Broom free on Public
Land after 4 years of efforts.
Close to 700 volunteers cut broom
this spring - for over 4000 hours!
Details to follow.
Mayor Teunis Westbroek of Qualicum Beach
Cutting Broom in the Town Hall Lobby
Without your help,
one broom plant
forest of broom.
Scotch broom is an alien invasive plant taking over huge areas of the Pacific Northwest and worldwide. Broom spreads rapidly and densely, chokes out native species, and prevents reforestation. It is a fire hazard & toxic to animals and the soil. Broom takes over fields, pastures, meadows and farms. A single plant can produce well over 20,000 seeds that last in the soil for more than 30 years. Broom seriously harms forestry, farming, tourism, our ecosystem & our health. Broombusters is dedicated to controlling the spread of this alien invasive plant, to protect our native plants, farms, forests and future.
Broombusters has been reclaiming & transforming the landscape of mid-Vancouver Island since
2006, for the sake of
native plants & animals, farms, good health &
safety, and for
tomorrow's forests and future generations.
* NOTICE: You must prearrange how to get rid
of the broom you cut on
the side of the road.
Click here for details.
The following documents tell you everything
you need to know:
Information about Scotch Broom
What to do about Scotch Broom
Handouts for Clubs, Parades, Neighbors
View them, download them, print them, share them.
Spread the word - not the broom!
Cut Broom in Bloom!
to Broombusters Radio Spots
30 sec radio
spot: An interview with Captain Grant
who brought 3 Broom Seeds to Vancouver Island, 1850
Spot: Captain Walter Grant
The Captain with guest appearance - maybe a mermaid.
Qualicum Beach-KSS High School
From Germany & Japan!
A cheerful broom buster in Sooke!
Dominic in Errington
TO CUT BROOM IN BLOOM:
It's easy. Use loppers. When
broom is in bloom (or just before) cut broom down to or
below the ground level.
We repeat!! If at all possible, cut at ground level or below the crown. If the
broom is so large that you cannot cut it at ground level,
cut off all the managable branches that you can cut with
your tool (loppers or saw.) Large broom plants die easily.
The most difficult broom to cut is broom that has been mowed and has multiple stalks. You need to find the single stem that goes into the ground - cut it there. If you can't find the single stem, do the best you can, knowing that you may need to come back. At least cut off the yellow flowers so there are no more seeds.
Why does this work? The plant has put all of its energy
above ground into producing flowers. It is the perfect time to separate the plant from its roots. If cut while in bloom, the plant
will be exposed to summer’s dry heat; the drought-stressed
broom will usually die. If you see the plants resprouting
later, cut again or remove sprouts. Do not pull up large
plants or disturb soil when soil is dry, as that encourages
the sprouting of new seeds.
• First, go after single plants, pioneers
& small infestation to prevent its spread.
• If the broom is very small, you can
pull it out - if doing so does not disturb the soil. If it is no blooming, it is doing no harm, so you can return and cut it next year when it blooms.
• Don't let the broom make more seed! Cut off all
the yellow flowers before seedpods form. Then you can cut it later when you have
• Don't spread the seeds. Once the small green seed
pods have appeared, the seed pods will ripen even after
the broom is cut. So if there are seeds, do not move the
plants across non-infested areas, as the movement could spread the seeds. You can
cut the broom and let it lie in many areas, or throw a few
broom off into the brush. Or pile on top of itself to burn
in the proper season.
can we do about the spread of Scotch Broom?
Tips for Successful Broom Control
• CUT BROOM IN BLOOM (April - Early June) Cut before the flowers turn into seeds. Cut all the way to the ground, or just below the ground. Pull out
• ELIMINATE NEW INFESTATIONS. When you see
a light / new infestation of scotch broom, along the highway, paths
& fields, take the time to cut it down. At least cut down the
flowering branches. Aim to eliminate the spread. This is a "first
aid" strategy, but it is the most important place to start.
• CUT DOWN ALL YELLOW FLOWERS so that they
can not turn into seeds. Each scotch broom plant can produce 2,000
to 3,500 seeds in pods which burst open in July & August, shooting
seeds into adjacent soil. If you cut the flowers while in bloom
- no seeds!
TALK to neighbors and representatives. No one can solve
this problem alone. Make an effort to make your road or neighborhood
broom free. IT CAN BE DONE!
Community Action Plan. Where do you fit in?
• Broombusters - the Two Hour a Year Club. If everyone cut broom for 2 hours a year, we would have no problem! It’s amazing what
you can do in two hours. Just go walking down any road that you
love, with loppers in hand. Have fun, and thank you for participating!
Cut your own property, or the road you live on, or help your neighbors.
• Community Cuts - Between late April & June, there are scheduled
community cuts from Cowichan Valley to Campbell River. Everyone is welcome.
• Road Guardians - Choose a little piece of a road - and keep it clear of
broom. Everything helps. If lots of people pick up pieces, whole
roads will become clear.
• Rovers - Broombusting is addictive. It’s easy, fun and the
rewards are immediate. It’s amazing how much you and
some loppers can do in an hour or two. Huge bushes fall with a
single cut! So, avid Broombusters become Rovers.
Broom Brownies - What a great surprise to drive down a road see that
someone has been cutting broom there - and we'll never know who
it was! Blessings on the Broom Brownies!
Cut Anytime Roads - The people and govt of a town, city or district may decide to clear a particular road or neighborhood that year. People who have been trained and signed waivers can then go out and cut on that road whenever they have time - from late April until the seed pods form. The pick up or chip up of the cut broom must be arranged IN ADVANCE. The broom can be stacked in piles - not on the road - and beyond where the mowers cut. You must have
permission to start cutting. Cut Anytime Roads are a great way to clear huge amounts of broom! Your help is greatly appreciated.
Broom Life Cycle - Why
April through June is the best time for broom removal and what
to do the rest of the year.
the spread of an invasive species, we need to understand its life
cycle. The roots of the broom plant are weakest when it is flowering
- so that is when we want to cut it down. If we
wait, and cut the broom after the seed pods are brown and mature,
the seed pods will explode and spread all over (July - August.)
Spreading the seeds will only worsen the problem. Immature seed
pods can ripen on a broom plant even after the plant has been cut.
Therefore, broom removal is recommended in April, May and early
June - when the flowers are in full bloom, and before the seed pods
have begun to form. The plants are also easy to see and identify
at that time. At that time, it is also harmless to chip the plants
- the ideal way to get rid of Scotch broom.
If you want to cut broom after seed pods are formed or forming,
you can no longer chip the cut plant because of the danger of spreading
the seeds. The best thing to do is to pile it on top of itself in
an already infested area. You can chip it in that infested area.
If that is not possible, you may need to wait until the rainy season
when it is safe to burn the branches. The infested area will need
to be monitored for new plants. Replant! Broom will not grow in
dense shade. As long as you alway cut yellow blooming broom each
year, eventually you will get rid of it. Stay with it!
If cut during wet seasons (Dec -
April), respouting is likely. You will need to cut again in spring. In the wet season,
you can use a woody weed removal tool . How
to Cut Broom.
Black seed pods
“The First step of successful
management will be to prevent the establishment of invasive
species in new areas.”
“Scotch broom should be removed in spring before
its seed pods begin to open. Removal at this time will
stop the addition of new seeds to the soil and may have the
advantage of killing drought-stressed plants. Broom cut during
wetter months can survive to resprout next season. If the soil
is moist and stems are small, broom plants can be easily pulled
from the ground by hand. Larger plants should be cut below the
from the BC Ministry of Environment, Lands
|Scotch broom is an aien invasive plant taking over huge areas of the Pacific Northwest and worldwide. Broom spreads rapidly and densely, chokes out native species, and prevents reforestation. It is a fire hazard & toxic to animals and the soil. Broom takes over fields, pastures, meadows and farms. A single plant can produce 18,000 seeds that last in the soil for 50 years. Broom seriously harms forestry, farming, tourism, our ecosystem & our health. Broombusters is dedicated to controlling the spread of this alien invasive plant, to protect our native plants, farms, forests and future. You can help!
Broom costs Oregon $47 million or more
“Some people may look at the golden hillsides resulting
from Scotch broom and think it’s a pretty wildflower that
belongs here. That’s the farthest thing from the truth.
Scotch broom costs the state of Oregon about $47 million each
year by its impact on natural resources, particularly on timber
production.” Oregon Dept of Agriculture
"Scotch Broom invades rangelands, replacing forage plants,
and is a serious competitor to conifer seedlings; Douglas fir
plantation failures in Oregon and Washington have been credited
to infestations of this plant."
Read more from
Ministries of Forests, Agriculture, Environment, & Parks.
is a registered non-profit society - Broombusters Invasive
Society. If you would like to become a member, please do!
are always welcome and used wisely.
We acknowlege the financial assitance of the
Province of British Columbia. See all....
Gorse - that prickly cousin of Scotch Broom - is worse than broom.
Here are two recommended sites.
*Air Photo above thanks to Parksville