Strike a blow against invasive Scotch broom Wednesday

May 24, 2011

By Staff

Volunteers gather on the Tradition Plateau on May 21 for the annual Scotch Broom Massacre to tackle the invasive plant. Contributed

NEW — 11 a.m. May 24, 2011

The annual Scotch Broom Massacre accomplished a lot May 21, but the Issaquah Environmental Council needs more help to cut the invasive plant.

The organization is holding another plant-yanking party at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Participants should meet, rain or shine, off of Interstate 90 Exit 20.

If people cannot join a work party, then grab some clippers or loppers, and set off to cut Scotch broom.

Volunteers met last weekend to tackle Scotch broom on the Tradition Plateau. Though vivid Scotch broom flowers can be pretty, the plant crowds out native species because it has no natural enemies in the Northwest.

People interested in removing Scotch broom should remember to cut the plant 6 12 inches off the ground and make sure no little sprouts remain on the stalk.

The maneuver usually kills the plant, but if it returns next year, cut a little lower on the stalk and strike the final blow. Then, leave the cut or pulled Scotch broom in place. As the plant decomposes, it fertilizes the uncovered native plants.

Tiny sprouts about one-quarter of 1 inch in diameter can be pulled out of the ground.

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