• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Leigh Tate
  • thomas rubino

Russian olive a heavy drinker?

 
Posts: 26
Location: Currently staying with a friend near the four corners, usa
3
foraging woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all,

I'm trying to do some restorative work at a friend's place in Northeast Arizona and he has quite a few natural springs and some wells that have gone dry in the last 10-20 years.  He thinks that the Russian olive trees (Elaeagnus angustifolia) are to be blamed.  They have really taken hold and can be found growing anywhere that there is water, has been water, or where there is sometimes water.  My suspicion is that this is more to do with a larger issue of things drying out around here in a big way but I was wondering if there might be any merit to the theory that Russian olives are soaking up the spring water for themselves.  

Thank you for your time!
 
pollinator
Posts: 352
Location: East tn
88
hugelkultur foraging homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ive got autumn olive which is close I think.

It doesnt strike me as thirsty. It is a nitrogen fixer with deep roots so it has potential benefits in providing a bit of shade and improving soil. It seems to do fine in poor dry conditions, it stays green in the hottest driest weather.
 
pollinator
Posts: 200
Location: Missoula, MT
56
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my experience russian olive (e angustifolia) is very drought tolerant, even as a seedling in a pot, and its fuzzy leaves suggest it doesn't loose a lot of water. It grows slowly enough, so if it is using a lot of water, where does it go?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1047
Location: Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
283
hugelkultur forest garden trees chicken wofati earthworks building solar rocket stoves woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We had Olive trees at Arcosanti they were not overly thirsty for being a fruit tree.

I would say your theory of there being other issues is probably right. I would heavily doubt the olive trees as being responsible.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 735
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
194
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I beg pardon, maybe it's just me, but when I saw the title of this (entirely fine, valid and reasonable) thread, a thousand low-grade jokes came to mind.

Yup, I'm bad. I'm going to the garden to drink vodka with the cutworms.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
master pollinator
Posts: 735
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
194
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In all seriousness, though, I feel deeply for anyone who has lost wells and springs. This speaks to a broad change in the larger landscape, rainfall patterns, seasonal flows. For those on the land, it changes everything.
 
Posts: 186
Location: 7b desert southern Idaho
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Russian olive is an invasive around here. I guess the size of the spring would matter. The Russian Olives will over grow everything. I'd slowly try to transition to a native selection.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
322
forest garden solar
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
According to these guys it might not consume that much water.
https://www.usgs.gov/news/invasive-saltcedar-and-russian-olive-trees-consume-similar-amounts-water-native-cottonwoods-and

I think the water levels are going down not because of native/invasive plants but due to humans emptying the aquifers and ground waters at alarming rate.
If the invasive lowered it by 10, humans lowered it by 1,000
gift
 
Collection of 14 Permaculture/Homesteading Cheat-Sheets, Worksheets, and Guides
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic