Best way to clear scotch broom and sage and prevent regrowth on 52 acres rolliing hills.

Asked May 29, 2017, 12:55 PM EDT

I just bought 52 acres, rolling hills, sandy pumice soil, if like to clear the scrub brush and ideally improve soil. It's a southern exposure and would possibly like to try hops on part of it Or another suitable crop for this elevation and climate.

Klamath County Oregon

4 Responses

Over time this will probably require a combination of mechanical and chemical control to remove these species from your new property. Treatment of individual scotch broom plants and other woody species with products like triclopyr (Garlon formulations) or aminopyralid (Milestone) can be effective. There are a number of different techniques ranging from foliar applications to cut stump type treatments. See the publication below on scotch broom for more specifics. Also reference the PNW Weed Management Handbook for specific recommendations on these species.

I am not intetested in chmicals. As a retired health professional I have significant concern that insecticides and herbicides are a high contributor to the significant increase in neurological disorders we are seeing. Clearing, burning, using livestock or cover crops are all possibilities but chemicals are not an option since so will be living there and do not want exposure for myself or pets.

I disagree, but I understand your concerns, so the best options for you will be to mechanically remove the scotch broom and other tree species. You will have to contend with the long-lived seed bank of some of these species so this will be an on-going process of mowing and mechanical removal to get things under control so you could eventually grow a crop species like hops or grapes. Biocontrol of the scotch broom will also be useful. Reference the ODA biocontrol site for more information on those options. Grazing is generally not effective for control of scotch broom or well established brush species.

Thank you. My concern is the " inert" ingredients in these products. Up to 99% of the ingredients are often listed as "inert". To you or I , this means inactive, to the EPA it falls under "trade secret". I know this is true with pesticides, so quite sure it is with herbicides as well. Because the skin is a very good receiver of these chemicals, I prefer to avoid them. I've seen clinical evidence of this. I'm aware that many noxious weeds and plants have seeds that live for many many years, but I also believe and have seen proper property management make it feasible to control. I cleared 10 acres of blackberries with zero chemicals and 10 years later still clear. Btw, I misspoke on it being scotchbroom, it's antelope bitterbush...similar growth, different plant. Sorry for any confusion.