Broombusters will be out in full force in the Comox Valley this weekend.

Annual battle against Scotch broom begins this weekend

Scotch broom, that highly invasive plant with the pretty yellow flowers, is about to start blooming.

The Comox Valley chapter of Broombusters invites you to join them in clearing broom from our parks, greenways, and other public spaces.

Community cuts are work parties where volunteers come together to cut broom in a specified area and are a good way to learn proper cutting technique before cutting on your own.

Community cuts are also a great way to get to know your neighbours and your local parks, to pitch in and even have fun. Some volunteers like it so much that they even start to cut broom on their own, whenever they have a free hour or so, and take on a park or walkway in their neighbourhood.

Community cuts are planned at:

• Saturday, April 16 from 9:30 a.m. to noon — Guthrie Road at Pritchard Road in front of Highland School.

• Saturday, April 23 from 9:30 a.m. to noon – Northeast Woods (walk along service road from the Torrence Road entrance).

Further community cuts will be advertised on the Broombusters website  www.broombusters.org, or contact Bev Agur at bevagur@shaw.ca for more information.

New volunteers are always welcome, so come and join us and help make the Comox Valley a broom-free area! We have loppers and handsaws – all you need is enthusiasm and a pair of work/gardening gloves.

Why cut Scotch broom? Unfortunately, if left unchecked, broom quickly takes over, choking out native plants. Mature plants can produce over 20,000 seeds so it is important to cut the broom while it is in bloom and before the seed pods form. The plants will die in the summer’s dry heat.

It is important to cut the broom to ground level to keep the stock from re-sprouting.

Only very small broom should be pulled. Pulling larger broom can disturb the soil, which can stimulate the fallen seeds from previous years to germinate.

Broombusters work in partnership with Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland, and the CVRD. Community cuts are held in areas that have been prioritized by the various municipalities. The cut broom is either hauled away or chipped on site.

 

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