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Time to Bash the Broom: May 10th to 24th, 2021

Updated: May 18, 2021

The 2nd Annual Ursula Poepel Broom Bash is happening May 1oth to 24th.

Broom is a highly invasive plant that engages in chemical warfare: its seeds and parts of the plant are toxic to humans and livestock, and it releases chemicals into the soil that change soil composition inhibiting the growth of native plants. Broom also depletes nitrogen from the soil that native plants need to in order to thrive. A hardy and fast growing plant, broom grows quickly shades out seedling of our native trees and shrubs. They dry out the soil and burn very easily so they are a fire hazard on our increasingly dry island.

But Penderites are fighting back, bashing broom all over the island. Now is the best time to attack these invaders as they are in flower, putting all of their energy and nutrients into making flowers and seeds, so if we cut them now, they will have little left in their roots to make a comeback.

So, start cutting broom right away and if you have room, stash it in a corner on your property where it will decay. If you have a lot of broom, you can bring it down to our drop-off sites where it will be chipped for composting after May 17th. The drop off sites are at Danny Martin Park parking lot on North Pender, and at 9861 Spalding Road on South Pender. Please insure that you only have broom plants; roots, dirt, rocks, etc., will damage the chippers. If you do not have a way to get your broom to the drop off sites, or if you need help in removing the broom from your property, please contact us, and we will arrange for volunteer broom bashers to come and help.

Bashing broom can be difficult as it tends to grow on dry slopes, but it is not complicated. Small seedlings can just be pulled and left to decay. Pulling out larger plants is not recommended, as it disturbs the soil and may trigger dormant seeds into germinating. Instead, simply cut or saw larger plants off just above the roots.

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