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Broombusters busy battling invasive plants in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Society always looking for volunteers to help
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Broombusters are out battling invasive plants. (Submitted photo)

Scotch broom is in bloom again.

They are aggresive, invasive plants that spread rapidly, grow densely, take over farms and prevent forest regeneration as they crowd out native plants and trees. They’re not edible to wildlife and are a fire hazard due to high oil content, and dead, dry branches.

Broombusters Invasive Plants Society was formed in Qualicum Beach in 2006 to wage battle against this pesky invasive plants. In 2018, more than 500 volunteers cut broom for more than 5,000 hours. Fourteen years ago, many Qualicum Beach roads were lined with broom and now there is hardly any in the town.

This spring, however, Broombusters is not having community cuts like it has every year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean no cuts will be done as there are many individuals and partners that are out cutting broom. And you are welcome to do that, too.

To kill them the broom is cut level or below the ground. Mowing or weed whacking don’t work. Pulling them out of the ground also is ineffective as it disturbs the soil and also causes more seeds to germinate for every plant that is pulled.

So if you want to help your neighbourhood, you can cut the broom. The society will loan you the tools. If you’re interested contact info@broombusters.org.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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