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14A • April 24, 2015 | Cannon Beach Gazette | cannonbeachgazette.com
Scotch broom removal
is a Sisyphean task
“We’re trying to stay
ahead of it,” he said. “We
don’t want the seeds to
By Erick Bengel
dgrass, a Chapman Point
Even after spreading,
Cannon Beach Gazette
Scotch broom seeds can
+H¿JXUHVWKDWWKHQHZ lie dormant for many years
It takes trained eyes and record is the result of the — 50 or more, McQuhae
hours of tedious physical thorough work he and his said — before they germi-
labor to prevent Scotch team did last year, their nate, so landscapers may
broom — the invasive Eu- ¿UVWVKRWDWWKHSURMHFW%H- not know until years after
ropean shrub that sprouts IRUH0D\KHZLOOGRD¿QDO D SURMHFW KRZ ZHOO WKH\
JROGHQ\HOORZÀRZHUVDQG walk-through of the area.
did, Snodgrass said.
produces thousands of
seeds — from overrunning Staying ahead of it
When the homeowners
the sand dunes west of
EURRP LQ FKHFN ZDV MXVW association began the an-
But, during the last 13 a matter of spotting the nual Scotch broom main-
years, the Chapman Point bright yellow blooms and tenance program back in
Homeowners Association plucking the shrub from 2003, the Scotch broom in
has hired local contractors the earth, then that would the affected area was huge,
“standing 10 feet or so,”
to scale back the noxious, be one thing.
But, because landscap- said McQuhae, who or-
colonizing species to a
level that is increasing- ers want to pull the broom ganizes the Scotch broom
ly manageable from year before the plants blossom eradication and thereby
to year, according to Ken and scatter their seeds — earned the nickname “The
McQuhae, a Chapman which usually happens in Broom Master.”
The trail from the Chap-
Point homeowner. For a mid summer — many of
time, McQuhae himself the targeted plants are still man Point subdivision to
pulled out the plants with relatively small, green and the beach was basically a
the help of a paid assistant. blend into their environ- tunnel through the broom’s
Earlier this month, Da- ment.
woody foliage, he said.
vid Snodgrass, president
³:KHQ LW¶V ÀRZHULQJ
“It’s a shrub that will
and co-owner of Dennis’ 7 it’s easy, but they’re not mature into something
Dees Landscaping & Gar- DOZD\V ÀRZHULQJ DOO DW more than a shrub,” said
den Centers, and his three- the same time,” Snodgrass Snodgrass, also a Chap-
man crew took their shov- said. “So you really need man Point homeowner. “It
els out to the dunes and to be able to see the little can really get big if let go
spent approximately 100 foliage amongst the dune unchecked.”
hours uprooting the Scotch grass.”
Scotch broom, which
broom from the sandy soil
the can be seen all along the
and hauling it away. They Scotch broom, which elk Oregon Coast from U.S.
also scoured strips of land like to munch on, is com- Highway 101, is “extreme-
on the east side of Oak peting with at least 100 ly aggressive, and it will
different types of vegeta- MXVWFURZGHYHU\WKLQJHOVH
The four men — Sno- tion, he said.
out,” Lawson said.
dgrass; Dave Santos, the
“You don’t really see
Once the plant takes
landscape foreman; and it until you get right up root in an area, “it spreads
Miles Lawson and Ryan on it,” said Santos, who OLNH ZLOG¿UH´ 6QRGJUDVV
(last name withheld), both ZRUNHGRQWKHSURMHFWODVW said. “If we let it go for a
new crew members — year.
couple of years, it would
covered about 21 acres of
However, winter on the again get out of hand.”
affected area, from Chap- North Coast was so mild
Last year, Snodgrass
man Point to the Breakers this year that “the plants thought he and his crew got
Point subdivision bound- are about six weeks ahead rid of it all, but “it fooled
of where they would be me,” he said. “You need to
In all the years of annu- in a difficult year,” Sno- stay after this, ongoing, to
al Scotch broom removal, dgrass said, so the 7 Dees interrupt that natural pro-
this is the quickest Chap- crew did their work a few gression of new plants.”
man Point has been able weeks earlier than nor-
Though his task is Si-
syphean, Snodgrass takes
David Snodgrass and his crew
work to contain invasive species
ERICK BENGEL PHOTO
Miles Lawson, a crew member with Dennis’ 7 Dees in Seaside, uses a shovel to uproot
Scotch broom growing west of Chapman Point. In Newport, Ore., he pulled invasive spe-
cies, including Scotch broom, for a community action agency.
pride in protecting Chap-
man Point’s oceanfront
“I definitely get a
VHQVH RI HQMR\PHQW DQG
satisfaction out of doing
it,” he said. “I’m hoping
that the neighborhood and
the tourists all appreciate
the efforts that are being
done here, because it re-
ally does benefit every-
If the Chapman Point
will have him back, Sno-
dgrass plans to take up
WKH MRE DJDLQ QH[W \HDU
“So I may be ‘The Broom
Master’ at some point,” he
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r Candy A
ork of Da
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