Scotch broom, that is. Seeing all those pretty yellow flowers blooming on lanky green shrubs out in the meadow or on the forest edge?
If you like looking at it, you’re in luck because you will see more and more of it in the future. It loves to take over open areas, pushing out everything except Himalayan blackberry. Those lovely yellow flowers very soon produce little pea pods filled with thousands of tiny black seeds. Birds eat the pods and scatter the seed, which are like time-release pills. The seeds will lie dormant in the soil for up to 40 years and each year you’ll see some new sprouts emerge, to continue its slow march to botanical hegemony.
On the other hand, now is a great time to fight back against the alien invader scotch broom. The yellow blossoms make them easy to spot and those are the ones to go after now before they set seed. It’s no good to just cut them off and leave the roots – they will surely resprout. So you either have to pull out the entire root or kill the plant somehow.
SRN has handy tools called weed wrenches that you can borrow to make the job of pulling the larger shrubs a bit easier (see the classified ad section of the Ridge Runner for info). When the soil is still moist enough for easy digging, you can dig them out or even pull up the smaller ones by hand.
Another alternative is to kill them with a small amount of carefully applied herbicide. Rather than spray the foliage, the least amount is required if you cut the trunk close to ground and then immediately apply a small amount of herbicide to the cut surface of the root. Do a search for “scotch broom control Oregon” and you will find lots of info about this and other methods.
So, as you work to push back the broom and let the native plants grow, be happy knowing that you’ll always have a good reason to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather… for the next 40 years.