Broom REMOVAL - Tool Lending Library

The Tool Lending Library is available for Fitch Mountain residents

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Broom Brigade

Broom Brigade

Broom Brigade

Broom Brigade

City of Healdsburg & County of Sonoma Vegetation Clearance Requirements

City of Healdsburg CFC Section 503.2.1 (as adopted by the City): In areas designated as Moderate, High or Very High Fire Severity Zones by the Director of CALFire or as a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone or greater in the Healdsburg General Plan, access roads shall have a flammable vegetation clearance area on each side of the road or driveway of not less than ten (10) feet unless otherwise authorized by the Fire Chief due to extenuating circumstances.

County of Sonoma Sec. 13-56. Flammable vegetation clearance areas for roads and driveways: All roads and driveways shall have a flammable vegetation clearance area on each side of the road or driveway of not less than ten feet (10”) unless otherwise authorized by the director of permit and resource management. (Ord. No. 5373 - 2, 2002: Ord. No. 4905 - 1, 1995.)

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH YOUR BROOM REMOVAL PROJECT

Broom is an invasive non-native plant that can increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires thus increasing the risk to dwellings and woodland trees. It grows so vigorously that it smothers native vegetation. Information about the different varieties of broom.

How to Remove Broom

In winter or early spring when the ground is wet from the rains and ground disturbance will be minimized, it is most effective to pull broom. Hand pull smaller seedlings. Mature shrubs can be pulled with use of special broom removal tools. It is important to remove as much of the roots as possible. Weed Wrench tools are available for use by Fitch Mountain residents on a short term loan basis for broom removal.

In early summer when the plant is blooming and before seeds have set, it is most effective to use a hand lopper and cut the plant at ground level. Cutting rather than pulling at this time of year minimizes ground disturbance which can cause the seed bank in the ground to sprout. Shrub stems larger than 2” diameter should be cut off very close to the ground. For most effective results, lop as close to the soil surface as possible (maximum 3” of stem should be left remaining).

In summer or early fall, after the seeds have formed on the broom, it is important NOT to move the branches or you will spread the seed. Cutting when the seeds are set can lead to unintentional seed dispersal. If feasible, cut the flowers before they go to seed or hand remove seeds so the plant does not reproduce.

Hints & Tips

  • Following weeding, consider mulching with 3-4” of wood chips and planting with appropriate native plants to compete with new seedlings. If mulching is not feasible, try to disturb the soil as little as possible.

  • Do not put broom plants in compost or yard waste or chipper piles. Plants should be disposed of with trash to avoid spreading this Class A noxious weed.

  • Any method of broom control will require frequent maintenance for several years because of the prodigious quantity of viable seeds that persist in the soil for years. Persistence and consistency are critical for success.
Join the tribe of broom warriors as we attack this dangerous and invasive nuisance on our mountain. Good Luck!

Tool Lending Library - Request a Weed Wrench


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