to Cut Scotch Broom
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About Scotch Broom
What to do About Broom
Broom in Bloom. To ground level whenever possible. In late April or May. It will die in the summer's heat.*
The Scotch broom plant is most vulnerable when in bloom. If cut
at the ground level, while in bloom, the plant usually dies. (If cut during
the wet season, it will respout.) You have to cut all the way at the ground
level, because there are often small - or large - sprouts that go off
into the grass at ground level. Sometimes you have to move grass and give
a tug on the stem to find the base of the plant. During the dry, hot summer,
almost all larger plants die. The smaller ones may regrow, but they will
be weakened, and you will be able to find them easily when they bloom
next spring. Unless there is grass, probably seeds will sprout, but they
can easily be pulled out by hand each year.
AGAIN - Cut the broom with loppers at ground level or slightly below - WHILE IN BLOOM (or just before.) Tap down soil around the roots.
You do not need to remove the roots if cut before the summer heat - it will die in the heat.
Plant grass, allow
ground story plants to take over, and plant trees. Broom grows most frequently
in disturbed soil. If you keep cutting in the spring, and encourage regrowth of native or cultivated plants,
eventually the broom will give up. After the first year, it isn't really hard, but
it does require attentiveness. Just keep cutting the broom in bloom -
and pulling out the new seedlings. Soon the native plants will thrive
Go after the light infestations first. You will be frustrated if you try to eliminate broom that is well established, as there are millions of seeds in the soil. Start at the outer edges of infestation and move towards the dense areas. You will be drawing a line and saying - the BROOM STOPS HERE. Eventually you'll be able to get to the dense areas - and you CAN succeed.
with Seeds - Summer Broom.
After the seeds have formed on the broom, it is important NOT to move
the branches because you don't want to spread the seeds.
If you want to continue to cutting,
or you are cutting in a place where you will not remove the branches,
simply cut the broom and pile it on top of itself or in deep shade. Do not drag the broom branches after seed pods have formed,
or you will spread the seed! On private property, when the rains return
in the fall, you can burn the branches.
Do Not Pull Broom - especially in the spring and summer.
Broom thrives in disturbed soil. A single broom plant can produce 18,000 seeds that are viable in the soil for 50 years! So if you disturb or destroy the ground cover, the seeds will germinate. Then you will have even more of a headache! Keep the ground cover, grass and trees. Replant as soon as possible. If broom is blooming near an uninfested area that is being disturbed, be sure to cut off all yellow flowers to keep seeds from entering the broom-free soil. This applies especially if you are cutting trees, clear cutting or tilling. Keep the seeds from reaching the disturbed soil if at all possible! Cut the bloomin' broom!
Season BROOM REMOVAL
When the ground is wet, you can pull broom from the ground
without damaging the soil. Smaller broom plants can be pulled out
by hand. Large ones can be removed by special broom removal tools.
There are two manufacturer of great tools on Vancouver Island. Broombusters
was given an Extractigator which works great! (See photo to right.)