Invasive species

Invasive Scotch broom

Scotch broom grows as much as 10′ tall.

Gorse and brooms, such as Scotch, or Scot’s broom (Cytisus scorparius, C. striatus, Spartium junceum, Genista monspessulana and Ulex europaeus ) are perennial evergreen shrubs that bloom in April-June. They have many slender, erect, dark green angled branches with small, simple leaves and lots of small, pea-shaped flowers. Gorse has distinctive 1 inch thick spines.

They will displace native plants and increase the costs of timber production by invading disturbed sites, natural areas, dune and public/private forest lands. The seeds live over 50 years and mature plants produce a lot of seeds requiring long-term maintenance.

Mow prior to April 15 but not when the pods are ripe with seed. Pull the smaller plants by hand or with a weed wrench. Cut back larger plants and dig out the roots. Mid-to-late summer cutting is best when the plant is stressed. There are three biological control agents; a beetle, a seed weevil and a twig miner are approved for release and have been established in Oregon.