Identifying and controlling Broom

22nd Oct 2018

Originally introduced fromEurope,most probably as a hedge plant, broom species prefer cooler climates and have established in many parts of the NorthernTablelands. Once established, brooms will form very dense thickets which will exclude desirable species in native communities and reduce stocking rates on agricultural land. Additionally, they provide habitat for feral animals including rabbits, foxes and pigs. It is also believed to be toxic to both stock and humans.

Brooms often establish on river banks, forest margins, roadsides and other disturbed areas. The fruit pods burst open in hot weather during springand summer launching seeds several metres from the plant.The seeds have very hard seed coats which allow the seed to remain viable for many years. Germinationis often stimulated byfire.

Scotch broom(or English broom) is an upright shrub that can grow up to 4meters high but are usually around 2m in height. It has yellow pea like flowers about 2cm long.The soft hairy leaves have 3 leaflets per leaf with the middle leaf also about 2cm long.They also produce pea pods which are usually about 7cm long. Capebroom (or Montpellier broom) is verysimilar in appearance but has larger leaves and smaller flowers. Both are to be controlled in the New England area.

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, there is a General Biosecurity Duty to prevent, eliminateor minimise the risk posed by broom. This means it is an offense to spread the weed. Seeds can be carried on vehicles, animals and people. Doing so carelessly is a breach of the Act. Landholders also have an obligation to control this weed on land under their control. At this stage New England Weeds Authority (NEWA) focus on controlling broom infestation outside of the town boundaries so as to prevent the spread into agricultural land and significant native vegetation areas. However we do encourage those with broom in town to control this weed

There are a number of control options with broom including fire, mechanical removal, grazing and herbicides. The cost of a long term broom control program can be high so you will be rewarded for implementing controls before the plant gets established.

For help with weedidentification and managementplease contact any of our Biosecurity Officer (Weeds)on 67703602, call into our office at129 Rusden St Armidale or visit


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