Neil Horner’s call to battle the Broom (The News, May 18) is a plea for help voiced all over this Island.
It’s a cry echoed since 1850, when befuddled Scot immigrant Walter Calhoun Grant paid a visit to Hawaii and spotted nature’s nastiest plant there. Recognizing them as the same weed native to Scotland, he decided to bring some plants back to Vancouver Island and introduce them here.
Their beginnings here were in Sooke. On their first blooming the winds spread the seeds all over this Island, with heaviest infestation at higher altitudes.
My own effort to rid my hiking trail near Port Alberni of the noxious weeds included cutting them off at the base with shears and a saw. After which I thought I’d killed thousands of the invasive yellow weeds. But one year later the growth beside the trail of Yuck Yellow had at least doubled.
The only way to rid our Island of Natures nasty plants is with mechanized power equipment such as front end loaders equipped with chokers to uproot them. And, to prevent regrowth, the millions of bushes must be taken to remote areas and burned before seeds can recirculate and proliferate with the winds. But the only group capable of carrying out such a huge project is the provincial public works department. But “sorry, no budget.”
So, good luck to those Island residents trying to stall the the never ending spread of beastly broom plants. And if your nearness to this weed brings allergies such as sore throat and sneezing, try loratadine.