First broom, now it’s gorse

Gorse is even more problematic than Scotch broom, and is classified as a noxious weed in B.C.            Steven Heywood Photo -
Gorse is even more problematic than Scotch broom, and is classified as a noxious weed in B.C. Steven Heywood Photo
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Joanne Sales of the Broombusters Invasive Plant Society updated Parksville city council recently on the Scotch broom situation in the region and thanked them for their support.

She said Nanaimo and Courtenay are joining the regional effort and mentioned some of the successful efforts going on such as Nanaimo hiring a dedicated broom cutting team for a month this season and Qualicum Beach dedicating two summer staff to the effort for a couple weeks.

She warned there is a new even more problematic weed starting to spread in the area called gorse.

Gorse, also known as Irish hedge, is classified as a noxious weed in B.C., unlike broom, and while it looks just like broom and can be cut the same way, it is prickly and harder to deal with.

Because of that people tend to either let it spread or use poison.

She suggested that city action on the empty field on Highway 19A across from the industrial park where gorse is rampant might help spur on volunteers.

Sales said that while Parksville does support their efforts, for whatever reason they don’t get as many volunteers here as in surrounding communities.

She pointed out they don’t cut broom on private land and they are completely volunteer driven, meaning they need people to contact them with a cut project in mind and they will provide expertise and supplies.

Sales didn’t have a specific request, but council asked staff to report back on their current bylaws and city operations dealing with broom and gorse.

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