Friday, February 25, 2011

Greetings from the Ucluelet Aquarium,
We hope you are having a great February and looking forward to our March 19th re-opening. Recently, we have completed the Harbour clean-up and are now turning our attention towards removing invasive plant species from selected areas of the harbour. The top priority is the removal of Scotch Broom. An invasive plant on Vancouver Island since 1850. This perennial has been used in the past as a bank stabilizer by the highway department because of its deep root structure and rapid growth. However, it has flourished and become a nusance to many native plants on the Island as it hinders the available light, mositure and nutrients. It is also fast growing and considered a 'prolific seed producer' with up to 18,000 seeds per plant. It is also difficult to ward off and stop its invasive reproduction.
If you are planning on removing broom the general rule of thumb is if the stock is smaller than your pinky finger it can be pulled out of the ground. Otherwise, cut the stock of the plant as low to the ground as possible.
Our efforts have been focused in the Millstream area where we have removed approximately 20,000 of these invasive plants. After the broom has been pulled or chopped we burn the broom as to not spread the broom seeds any further.
We will be monitoring the areas that we have removed the broom from to see how the land rehabilitates.