Scotch broom time | Letter

Scotch broom is beginning to blossom, and the ground is still too soft to let weed wrenches do a good job pulling up the smaller plants. Last Wednesday I had the help of the Noxious Weed Board’s Jason Ontjes ( 376-3499 jason@sanjuanweeds.org.) doing some serious clearing in my upper field. I learned that re-growth comes only from the trunk, and latent seeds that may be lurking at the base of the plant. Roots left in the ground will not re-sprout. Jason used loppers most of the time, cutting the trunks as far below the ground as possible, then covering the stump with soil.. A few were left exposed above the ground, but he stripped the bark down all around the plant, to discourage re-growth. I used the medium Weed Wrench, gleefully toppling the smaller plants. We will burn the pile once the whole job is done.

Jason encourages neighbors having Scotch Broom parties, and he can lend weed wrenches and even himself for those occasions. The time is now, before the blossoms go to seed and thousands of new S.B sprouts begin their lives.

Margot Shaw

Orcas Island