Free Estimates:




Brooms are a group of shrubs that were introduced into North America from Europe and North Africa in the mid-1800s. Brooms can be found growing along roadsides, forestlands, coastlines, riparian areas, brushlands, and disturbed areas. These highly competitive shrubs grow rapidly and form dense stands that both people and wildlife find impenetrable. Their dense stems make regeneration of most other plant species difficult or impossible, and they create a dangerous fire hazard.  

In addition, as legumes, brooms can fix atmospheric nitrogen, increasing soil fertility and giving a competitive advantage to other non-native weeds that, unlike the local natives, thrive on high nitrogen levels. 

The four most common broom species are Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), French broom (Genista monspessulana), Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), and 

Portuguese broom (Cytisus striatus). 

Cultural Control 

The two primary methods for managing brooms are mechanical removal and treatment with herbicides (weed killers). Broom establishment is through seed dispersal, so maintaining a healthy cover of desirable vegetation and reducing soil disturbance may reduce the potential for broom invasion. 

Ongoing monitoring for new seedlings is crucial for successful management. Mechanical Control Small infestations can be removed by hand-pulling or mechanical grubbing. A variety of tools can aid in removal, including shovels or picks, chains, or specialized tools such as the Brush Grubber or The Uprooter. It is easiest to remove plants in early spring or late fall when the soil is moist and roots can be dislodged. Grubbing when the soil is dry and hard usually will break off the stems, leaving rootstalks that may resprout. Fortunately, with brooms, fragments of stems do not survive to produce new roots as in some weedy species. Mowing broom plants gives poor control unless performed repeatedly throughout the growing season. 

Within a couple months of germination, young plants usually have produced underground rootstocks large enough to recover from a single mowing. Use extreme caution when mowing during spring and summer because of the potential for wildfires. 

Mowing later in the season also can spread seeds. Lopping mature plants near the base will provide some control if done when plants are moisture-stressed in late summer, or in late spring following a winter with little rainfall. Lopping at other times can lead to vigorous resprouting. Under most conditions, brush rakes and bulldozers that leave pieces of rootstocks behind do not provide successful control. In some cases, brush removal in late summer, when plants experience moisture stress, can slow their ability to recover. 

However, using large equipment to clear land may also promote seedling establishment, making follow-up control essential. 

More Posts

Yellow Woodsorrel

Scientific Name: Oxalis stricta L.  Description:  This species is found in high and low maintenance turf, in sunny and shaded areas, and in moist and

Yellow Nutsedge

Scientific Name: Cyperus esculentus  Description:  This species thrives in moist, poorly drained soils and can persist in full sun and moderate shade. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus

Yellow Foxtail

Scientific Name: Setaria pumila (Poir.  Description:  Likely introduced to North America from Europe and Asia, both species have spread throughout Pennsylvania and most of the

Wild Violet

Scientific Name: Viola spp.  Description:  This weed grows well in moist, fertile soils and can persist in full sun and shaded areas. Wild violet (Viola

Want added to our LEARNING CENTER Tips and Service Alerts List?

We’d be glad to update you on new tips, services, seasonal specials and more!