Saturday, March 21, 2009

Scotch Broom, begone!


Fire is no joke.

Cytisus scoparius (Scotch Broom) is invasive and flammable. Fires (not earthquakes) are the natural disasters threatening Nevada County; our neighbor, the Tahoe National Forest, burned in the massive California and Nevada forest fires last summer. The conflagration came within a few miles of my town of Nevada City.

Citizens are banding together to tackle Scotch Broom, which is a significant fuel source. I'm impressed, and think this is a good model for other communities that face danger from flammable plants.

6 comments:

Grace Peterson said...

I kind of like the green architecture of the scotch broom. But I loathe the blooms and even worse are the black seed pods that I always mistake for some otherworldly insect. We have ivy issues here in the Pacific Northwest. It grows (leaps) with abandon and kills trees.

It's a good thing, your area's concerted effort to eradicate this flammable bane. Wildfires are scary stuff.

Love the daffodil photo post.

Daffodil Planter said...

Grace, Yes, pretty, but destructive.

For a fun post on the menace of ivy read http://callusandchlorophyll.blogspot.com/2009/03/curse-of-hederahelix.html

Jenny said...

Sounds like Grace's ivy is the kudzu of the northwest. And the broom sounds as though it's made its evil self at home in the dry country out there near the Calif./Nevada border. Where I live in Gloucester, Mass., there's nothing quite as threatening. Take your pick of annoyances: bittersweet, barberry, phragmites. Right in my yard it's Norway maples, which were planted everywhere as street trees after the elms died. It's that time of year when I'll be going out and pulling up hundreds of Norway maple seedlings.

Daffodil Planter said...

Jenny, The Washington Post columnist Henry Mitchell wrote so often, and so forcefully, against Norway maples that a compilation of his words on that topic alone could probably make a book.

Being half-Norwegian and unfamiliar with the tree, I was somewhat affronted. I now understand that it is an awful maple, and really should not be planted by anyone, anywhere.

I'll have to look into the "Norway" issue though, and find out if my Viking ancestors wronged the botanical world.

Michelle said...

I was in Big Sur this weekend and heard some awful stories about the terrible fire we had there this past summer. It seems that the first fire crews on the scene were telling residents to get out and that they would be defending the homes from the fires when in fact they were not. People had to stay behind and risk arrest so that they could defend their homes themselves... It's a long story, but basically it comes down to you have to make sure that the area around your home (and community) is easily defensible which means getting rid of highly flammable plants like that nasty broom. You can't rely on the powers that be to get it done....

flowergardengirl said...

I heard about this and am worried for you all. I hope everyone pulls together and rids the countryside of this hazard.