Restore Habitat, Remove Scotch Broom

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Scotch Broom in Bloom

Scotch Broom in Bloom

Every spring, the yellow flowers of invasive Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius, pea family) line local roadways and trails.

Although pretty when in bloom, each plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds that can survive in the ground through drought and fire. Stands of Scotch Broom disrupt local streams and overtake native plants and wildflowers that local wildlife rely upon for survival. The highly flammable brush also produces a hazard in areas especially vulnerable to fire.

In California, it is a Class C noxious weed, which means the state attempts to control it, but it is up to volunteers to keep the plant from spreading. It is essential to pull up the plant before it goes to seed.

The best way to get rid of Scotch Broom is to remove the entire root system and plant. Pull small plants up by hand or use a weed wrench to remove larger plants. Easy-to-use weed wrenches can be rented from your local fire department, fire safe council or purchased online.

Help restore native habitat by removing Scotch Broom from your property, finding annual broom removal workdays this spring, offered by local land trusts, non-profits and fire safe councils in your area, and growing native plants in your own backyard.

For Scotch Broom pulls in Nevada County, go to http://www.areyoufiresafe.com/hot-links/scotch-broom-challenge-dates/.