I just read an item regarding the removal of Scotch broom.
I was in New Zealand a couple of years ago and while playing golf with a local, I noticed a large mountainside that was completely covered with the yellow pest.
I mentioned to the local that they seem to have a serious broom problem.
He responded that the plant had been planted after the area had been clearcut logged.
After clearcutting an area, the logging companies are required to completely clear the land and replant new seedling for a future crop.
Then they also plant the broom seedling in the cleared area.
The reason for the broom is that as the tree seedlings grow the deer would come in and eat them.
By planting the broom with the new tree crop, the deer will not come into the cleared area because the deer do not find the broom edible.
As the trees develop they will shadow the broom and it will die, leaving them to grow unmolested by the deer.
I assume the practice works or else they would not spend all the time and effort necessary to plant the broom.
It seems to be a widespread practice around New Zealand.
I do not have any opinion on whether it is a good practice or not.
I assume the reason that the emigrates that came to Vancouver Island from Scotland were homesick for their homeland so they planted the broom here.
To get rid of it now seems to be as difficult as shovelling against the incoming tide.
Editor’s note: Harold Wood lives in Courtenay in the summer and in El Centro, Calif., in the winter. He was born in Comox.