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invasive tree. Autumn olive?

 
Jonathan Overlin
Posts: 27
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Hello,

I am on loess soil type in Central Iowa. I have noticed this tree springing up EVERYWHERE. Any ideas on it? It has kind of a green/grey leaf, and as of yet, I have not seen them get beyond 15' feet high

All three pictures are sideways, sorry
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Isaac Hill
gardener
Posts: 356
Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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That's an Eleagnus of some sort... probably Russian Olive or Autumn Olive. They're nitrogen fixers with highly nutritious berries so they're not so bad.
 
Jonathan Overlin
Posts: 27
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Well I've read up on Autumn Olives- and I must say that I am excited to have these trees on the land. They look to spread very easily, but we will just try to beat them back occasionally.

They are said to have up to 17x the amount of lycopene as tomatoes, produces between 4000-13000 lbs of fruit per acre, make great leathers, jams and the juice is supposed to be good to. And wine.

Here are two links that I read up on these cool plants-
http://foragersharvest.com/autumnberry-autumn-olive/
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request115.asp

Thanks for your help Isaac!
 
Donovan Wentworth
Posts: 14
Location: Michigan - Zone 6a-5b
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Well when life gives you autumn olive, make jam (or wine)

I do want to warn against letting the good aspects of this plant overshadow the threat it poses to wild ecosystems and biodiversity, though. Without human intervention, grasslands and prairies as we know them in North America would probably eventually be converted to autumn olive monocultures. Not even wildfires can kill off this plant. I'm hoping ecologists will eventually discover a biological control to keep autumn olive in check, but in the meantime it's up to us to control it. I really don't recommend going out of your way to grow autumn olive, and it would be best to gradually replace any autumn olive on your property with native (or at least non-invasive) alternatives.

There are lots of native plants that can be used as an alternative, by the way. My first recommendation would be the silver buffalo berry, which is a native relative of autumn olive. It has some thorns and the berries are more tart than autumn olive, but it is a good nitrogen fixer and people say the berries make an excellent jam. Elaeagnus x ebbingei is another autumn olive relative to look into.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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definately autumn olive..you should have had fragrant yellow flowers by now and they should have fallen off and you should get berries if they didn't frost..the birds will love them and go ahead and taste them when they get really ripe..some varieities are very tasty raw out of hand..other are good for use in other dishes.

they are related to goumi and russian olive (my favorite)..which has more whitish color to the leaves..blooms slightly later, slightly less invasive and bears its berries later..

they will get about 12' or so tall and wide..pretty much rounded head
 
philip Wick
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The trees are very invasive. 35 years ago there was one small shrub of this on our 80 acre farm. We noticed it because it was so different and because of the berries. The margins of the hayfields are now overrun with this plant and the state of CT, which encouraged it for wildlife, has now considered it an invasive species. Extremely tough to kill.
 
Dave Miller
Posts: 408
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
15
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It looks an awful lot like a willow tree I have in my yard. Does it flower or have fruit?
 
philip Wick
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The shrub has both sweet scented flowers and fruit. I think bird droppings are a major source of seed.
 
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