by Eva Buxton

It’s that time again; the rain has softened the ground, making broom and other invasive shrubs easy to pull out with the roots. In view of recent disastrous fires in and north of Marin County, it is especially important to consider removing fire-prone shrubs from your property and adjacent land (with landowner permission).

Cytisus scoparius - Scotch broom

Cytisus scoparius – Scotch broom

Genista monspessulana

Genista monspessulana – French broom

Preventing wildfires that start along the wildland urban interface (WUI) by creating “defensible space” is presently a focus of land managers and fire agencies in the county. 
Marin County is overrun with French broom (Genista monspessulana) and, to a lesser extent, Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), invasive shrubs native to the Mediterranean region. Broom and other fire-prone horticultural shrubs pose a fire danger by acting as “ladder fuels” from a ground fire to the tree canopy

With the help of a broom wrench you can create fire-smart landscaping and defensible space.
The wrenches will work on virtually all woody plants, even on previously cut plants if a section of the original stem is accessible. Borrow as many as seven broom wrenches for two weeks at a time from CNPS Marin Chapter.

Broom Pulled with Weed Wrench Woody Elliott

Broom Pulled with Weed Wrench by Woody Elliott

Weed Wrenches

Weed Wrenches

The Chapter owns seven wrenches in three different sizes:

  • One large – jaw capacity up to 2.5 inches, weight 16.5 lbs
  • Two medium – jaw capacity up to 1.5 inches, weight 10.5 lbs.
  • Four small – jaw capacity up to 1 inch, weight 5.0 lbs.

Please contact Eddie Robertson at to arrange for pick-up of the wrenches.