In the spring and summer, California roads are lined by brilliant yellow flowers. These pretty plants are the deceptively aggressive invasive Scotch broom (cytisus scoparius), which is not only highly flammable (thus posing a fire hazard) but is also inedible for most animals and thrives in a broad range of conditions.
This invasive species’ seeds can survive in soil for over 80 years. The long-term seed survival is doubly impressive considering that just one shrub produces thousands of seeds, which are transported over large areas by animals, humans, and automobiles among other means.
Scotch broom can reach over 10 feet in height and grows in large patches. Its roots and dense shrubbery chokes out native plants and reduces the habitat and food sources our native fauna require.
So what can you do to challenge the Scotch broom?
The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) has partnered with multiple organizations over the years to clear Scotch broom via an annual Scotch Broom Challenge. Volunteers band together to fight its spread and we’ve made a lot of progress in the watershed!
This year, SYRCL is teaming up with the Bear Yuba Land Trust to remove Scotch broom at Mountain Bounty Farm on March 30, 2022 from 9 AM to 2 PM. There are 15 acres of Scotch broom adjacent to the farm that are considered a high fire risk because a large portion of the scotch broom is dry and dying.
We are looking for 15 volunteers to help take out this plant and protect our watershed. No need to worry about tools or equipment, all you need is water, lunch, work gloves, sturdy shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. We will provide all the tools you will need!
For more information about our restoration program, please visit our restoration page. Also, be sure to check out the Fire Safe Council for more Scotch Broom Challenge events in our area. If under you are under 18 years of age, please make sure a parent is present to sign a waiver. We can also email a waiver upon request.
Join SYRCL’s River Avengers (a.k.a. SYRCL’s Restoration Team) and repeat after us: DOOM ON BROOM
If you have any further questions about the Scotch Broom Challenge, email our Restoration Coordinator, Caitlin Edelmuth (firstname.lastname@example.org).