South Whidbey Record


LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Time to sweep away broom

July 2, 2013 · Updated 3:03 PM

To the editor:

I assume you notice that the proliferation of Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius, is overwhelming natural vegetation along every bit of untended roadside, hillside, meadow and open forest land.

This blooming moment is our annual window of opportunity when island citizens can do something to halt the plant’s progression and domination of the countryside!

According to Broombusters.org, a community activism group, if the plant is cut at ground level now before it goes to seed, it will most likely die. People do not have to dig out roots and it is best not to disturb the soil around the base of the plant, except to cut off plants at ground level. During the hot, dry summer months, most of the larger plants will die at the roots without producing hundreds of thousands of bean seeds.

Smaller plants can often be pulled up roots and all. Next year, some of the cut stumps may have resprouted and will need to be cut again, but we will have a more manageable problem on our hands.

Get permission as needed, wear gloves, don’t leave a mess of dying bushes, be careful around traffic, cut at ground level, watch out for bees.

See you in the ditch.

Christina Baldwin


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