BroomBusters
Cut Broom in Bloom
Vancouver Island & BC Mainland's Grassroots
Scotch Broom
Containment Campaign


WHY CUT SCOTCH BROOM?
Read & print this: Information About Broom

Read: About Broom

HOW TO CUT SCOTCH BROOM
Read & print this: What to do About Broom

Read: How
to Cut Broom

COMMUNITY CUTS
What's going on in your community? Click here.
Broombusting is finished for 2014.
Broombusters AGM & Potluck
June 29 Sunday Welcome! Email for info.
2795 Grafton Ave, Qualicum Beach/ Coombs

Without your help,
one broom plant
becomes a
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. You can help!


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.

Join us!

* 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!


Plans for Broombusting events in spring 2014 are now being made -
From Campbell River, south to Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley, west to Port Alberni.
We invite your participation in planning and cutting broom. Email us if you have ideas! info@broombusters.org

Photos from 2013:
Broombusters Volunteers 2013: 1 2 3 4
Broombusters Volunteers 2012: 1 2 3

Broombusters Volunteers in action 2010-11:
1 2 3
To give or receive information, please email us at info@broombusters.org

Thank you everyone. It was a very successful year.

Click here to see past events of 2013
Click here to see past events of 2012



Listen to Broombusters Radio Spots

30 sec radio spot: An interview with Captain Grant who brought 3 Broom Seeds to Vancouver Island, 1850
10 Second Spot:
Captain Walter Grant
10 Second Spot:
The Captain with guest appearance - maybe a mermaid.



Qualicum Beach-KSS High School

 


From Germany & Japan!


A cheerful broom buster in Sooke!

Springwood Middle School Parksville

Dominic in Errington

HOW 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, or which is growing in gravel along railroad tracks or roads. 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 just put all of its energy into producing flowers. 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 small and not blooming, you can pull it out, or 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 more time.
• 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, 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.



Use bypass loppers to cut
at ground level. You may
have to move grass aside
to get low enough.
Cut the Bloomin' Broom!

What 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 young ones.

• 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 seed 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!


Broombusters 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 close to the shoulder - not on the road. 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.

 

The Broom Life Cycle - Why April through June is the best time for broom removal and what to do the rest of the year.
To stop 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
of summer.


“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 root crown.”

Recommendations from the BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks:

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!

Scotch 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
.


Broombusters is a registered non-profit society - Broombusters Invasive
Plant Society. If you would like to become a member, please do!
Donations 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 Qualicum Aeroclub.
Flying-Paul Connors; Photo-Doug Montieth.