From left

Gorse is a thorny, nasty invader in Parksville Qualicum Beach

There are local bylaws making it a property owner’s responsibility to deal with

It’s gorse season in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

“Gorse is in bloom now, if you see yellow flowers on the side of the road it’s gorse because the broom isn’t out yet,” said Joanne Sales with the Broombusters Invasive Plant Society.

Like broom, the invasive gorse weed should be cut while it’s in bloom, before the seed pods form. Unlike broom though, cutting it down doesn’t kill it, it just manages the growth, Sales explained.

Local volunteers are organizing a gorse cutting this Friday along the Island Highway around Resort Row and the industrial park in Parksville.

She said community groups like the Friends of French Creek recently started a gorse removal program in French Creek, adding to their efforts to eradicate giant hogweed in the area.

“Gorse is a serious problem in Australia and New Zealand and has spread here in the Gulf Islands and Nanoose Bay,” Sales said, adding that it doesn’t spread as fast as broom, but is trickier to deal with due to it’s thorns and multiple stocks.

Officially recognized as a  noxious weed by the provincial government, there are also local bylaws making it property owner’s responsibility to deal with it on their land.

If it’s cut before seedpods form the plants should be taken to the RDN transfer station and Sales said the best they can hope for at this point is to manage it and limit the spread while they look for non-toxic ways to kill it off.

For more information visit www.broombusters.org or e-mail sales at info@broombusters.org for details on upcoming cuts.

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