Cut Broom in Bloom for Earth Day

Earth Day is right around the corner on April 20 – 22. Looking for an Earth Day project? Here’s a good one: cut back Scotch broom at Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park.

Volunteers with PGFHP, Kitsap Environmental Coalition and Our Forest Fund will be at the park on Thursday April 22 and Saturday April 24 cutting back the broom. Bring cutting tools, cut at ground level and leave the broom in place. There is no set time for this informal, independent event. There is a huge broom outbreak up near the viewing platform (road 1000 near the New Hope trail) and that’s where you will most likely see fellow broom whackers.

Come as you like and stay as long as you want. Not able to make it to the park? You can cut broom wherever you encounter it. Just remember: CUT BLOOMING BROOM!

What’s Wrong with Scotch Broom?

  • Spreads rapidly and densely – anywhere in the sun
  • Forms dense thickets
  • Crowds out native plants
  • Leads to a dramatic loss of diversity
  • Slows and prevents forest re-growth
  • Causes allergies
  • Highly flammable
  • Toxic to grazing animals
  • Changes soil chemistry
  • Makes farmland useless

Remember: Cut Broom in Bloom

Scotch broom in bloom with seedpods
Scotch broom in bloom with seedpods

If you cut broom in bloom, at ground level, the broom will die in the summer’s dry heat. If you disturb the soil by pulling or digging, the persistent seeds from previous years will sprout.

Scotch broom needs sun. Don’t disturb the soil. Take care to keep the ground cover in place (grass, tree saplings, salal, native plants – even weeds!) In the shade of the groundcover, the broom seeds remain dormant. In the sun, seeds will sprout. Small broom can be pulled. Larger broom should be cut at ground level or just below.

Thank you for helping to eradicate Scotch broom at PGFHP and anywhere else you find it! Here’s a website you may find informative: http://www.broombusters.org/

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