1. I live on the east coast of Vancouver Island. and I am surrounded by broom. Ironwood also seems to thrive. Any suggestions of other easily propogated native species to replace the broom.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Hi, and thanks for posting on the forums.

    The trick to replacing broom with native species is to know what native species grew in the area in the first place. The idea is that what was naturally selected for the area is likely best suited to it in the ecological sense.

    Without knowing what is native to your local area, it is difficult to give more specific advice.

    An excellent resource you may wish to consult when you've discovered what's native to the area:
    "Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest" by Arthur R. Kruckeberg.

    A few links about broom (Cytisus scoparia):

    http://infoweb.magi.com/~ehaber/bc_broom.html
    http://web.pfc.forestry.ca/pest/broom/

    The Veins of Life Watershed Society and their efforts to remove invasive species and reintroduce native plants at Viaduct Flats:
    http://www.volws.bc.ca/projects/2000/flats.html
     
  3. Harry Hill

    Harry Hill Member

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    Location:
    Roberts Creek, BC (Sunshine Coast) Zone 8
    native shrubs to replace Scotch broom

    If the broom has been growing in this location for some time there will be a 'seed bank' in the soil that will continue to germinate for years to come. Once you remove the existing broom you face years of pulling or cutting down the new broom seedlings. :-(

    You have two options for getting rid of existing broom: dig out the plants during the winter while the soil is damp and workable(downside: this approach exposes broom seeds which then germinate in the hundreds); cut the broom down to ground level during the height of the summer drought (downside: plants can sometimes resprout if rains occur in summer).

    If you have a large area to restore to native vegetation, you'll probably want to propagate the shrubs and trees yourself rather than purchase them. Here are a few attractive shrub species that do well in the same dry conditions where Scotch broom thrives:

    Flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum): propagate from cuttings of new growth taken in July, or from fall-sown seeds.
    Tall Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium): grow from fall-sown seeds.
    Oceanspray/ironwood (Holodiscus discolor): grow from fall-sown seeds.
    Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia): grow from fall-sown seed.
    Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus): propagate from cuttings of new growth taken in July, or from fall-sown seeds.
    Mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii): propagate from cuttings of new growth taken in July.

    Some great trees for you to try:

    Garry oak (collect the acorns in September and plant in pots immediately - don't let them dry out).
    Arbutus: collect the berries in September/October and remove the seeds before sowing in the fall.
    Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum): very drought-resistant small tree found around the Georgia Basin, slow-growing from fall-sown seed.

    Good luck!
     

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