Why its Sexy to Pull Scotch Broom
Scotch Broom is my nemesis. I’ve spent the last 5 years pulling it, writing about it, trying to make baskets, brooms or anything useful from it, hiring crews of people to pull it with jumbo weed wrenches, and teaching my six-year-old to spot it from his car seat.
Why have I bothered? Scotch broom might appear beautiful in the spring to the novice eye, with its bright yellow blossoms visible along roadways and local trails. In addition to being highly flammable in our fire-prone region, a mature plant produces up to 30,000 seeds that can survive for years through drought and fire, rapidly pushing out wildflowers and other native plants that local wildlife depends upon for food.
I could have felt frustrated as I spent several hours carefully making my way through the Poison Oak to pull blooming yellow stragglers in an area that I’ve cleared many times before. Instead, I started to daydream about how everyone in the community could be inspired to pull the plant from their land, neighborhoods and local trails. In a desperate attempt to encourage others to help create a landscape free of the risk and damage that Scotch Broom brings, I came up with reasons why pulling it is essential to feeling sexy and enjoying healthy relationships with each other and the land.
- Commitment. The plant teaches about long-term commitment since restoring an area often requires years of steadfast effort. This is no one-night stand.
- Mystery. Walking through the woods offers a chance to slow down and uncover the mystery of a particular place. Everything is not what it seems at first glance.
- Discovery. Searching for Scotch Broom requires sharp eyes. It’s like an Easter egg hunt. Along the way, uncover new plants, like wild ginger, currants and star tulips. Look hard and you might find more than what you expect.
- Strength. Pulling Scotch Broom develops strong upper arms and even strengthens thigh muscles. I could imagine entire exercise routines, focused on different muscle groups, happening in the woods during a Scotch Broom pull. A healthy physique is always a good thing.
- Giving. The removal of Scotch Broom is a specific, tangible way to benefit the environment. With so many issues to work on, its easy to get overwhelmed and not no how to make a difference. Its satisfying to give and then see a direct, immediate result.
This spring, the yellow blossoms of Scotch Broom offer us a chance to show we really do care.