A volunteer demonstrates how high Scotch broom had grown in some areas of town.

New bylaw should clear up residential broom

If the “Bloom is on the Broom” then it’s time to get out those clippers and remove that invasive species from your property.

Thanks to the addition to Bylaw #3551, recently approved by the city, landowners either remove broom from their land or city workers may have to remove it for them, at cost, warns Broombusters.org director, Morgan Ostler.

Broom seems to have returned to the Island with a vengeance this year as evidenced by the rampant growth on the main highways and side roads. This is the sixth year that Broombuster volunteers have gone out armed with clippers, loppers and saws prepared to subdue the ubiquitous plant.

“It is discouraging to see it return” Ostler says in a press release,” but we know from experience that if we continue to suppress the new growth the plants will die off.” The stretch of highway on 19A between Canadian Tire and Home Depot is an example of a successful cut. Thanks to last year’s efforts by the Rotary Club members, Campbell River Indian Band members and Broombusters, the group can take pride in a well-groomed embankment with no broom and no blackberries evident…just fresh green grass. That section has been regularly mowed, hence the successful disappearance of broom. Many sections of the roadways and ditches cannot be mowed so, this year, Broombusters will experiment with seeding the areas around the cuts. Broom seeds need direct sunlight to germinate and if the grass grows quickly it may suppress the broom sprouts.

Volunteers are urgently needed who can spare a few hours on Saturday mornings. Broombusters signs will be up on the Jubilee Parkway which is the focus of this year’s cut. Clippers, loppers and saws will be supplied. Rotary Club will be joined by The Loop Cycling Club for the annual broom cut on the Parkway Saturday morning June 1. Strategic wildfirefighters have volunteered to join the great effort.

Broombusters.org was founded in Qualicum and now has branches throughout most of the communities north of the Malahat. Call Morgan or Carol at 250 202 7590 if information or advice is needed on broom removal.