What to plant after scotch broom removal

Asked December 12, 2020, 7:55 PM EST

We have many scotch broom plants that are growing vigorously on a part of our property that was clear cut about 2 1/2 years ago. We are wondering what we should plant in place of the scotch broom after we remove it. Our forested land is zoned EFC and much of it is quite sloped so we want something to help minimize erosion but also native to the coastal mountain range. The area was replanted with fir trees, so we want to do what we can to support those seedlings as well. Thanks for your help!

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

If your fir trees are pretty well established along with the scotch broom, they will take up a lot of growing space after you control the scotch broom, along with a lot of of other plants (already present or windblown seed coming in) that will respond to the new growing space available. So you may not gain much by planting other things. Maintenance and weeding around your little fir trees may be the most important action you can take. Much depends on how you control the scotch broom - spraying vs cutting. If you leave the dead scotch broom, standing or spread over the ground, it will provide some cover and mulch to reduce erosion and inhibit more scotch broom seed from germinating. If you clear off the scotch broom mechanically, you will have more open soil, subject to more scotch broom seed germination and other weed seeds coming in.