• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

uses for Autumn olive bushes  RSS feed

 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we have loads of these bushes popping up in a hay field and meadow that we are allowing to grow in ( forestry plan ) but I am reading , so much about them being invasive and that I should use herbicides I know the berries are edible but are there uses for the plant itself ( wood ) should they be cut back and composted , there are quite a few in the 10 years or so we have allowed the area to go un-mowed

we are not living on the farm at the moment so goats are out . was wondering if there were pros to these bushes that would make them use full . I have so many things that need doing and trying to pull out all these bushes ins not high on my to do list .

Sue
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 361
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
18
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I understand that they are N-fixers, and will be improving your soil for you for free

Honestly, if you are planning on this to go back to forest anyway, and don't have anything else you want to put in instead, I'd say let them grow. If you aren't actively planting out there (you say you aren't living there), getting rid of them will probably only be a temporary solution anyway, as they will most likely simply grow again without constant maintenance--unless you plant something else so they don't have any space to exploit.

But really, if it were me, I'd let them grow, and plant around them when I put in my trees. If very dense, I might thin them out, but only if I had something else to plant there right away. Their N-fixing should be a big asset to any other trees or plants in the vicinity.
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1804
Location: Maine (zone 5)
197
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I let them grow. Chickens love the berries. Pigs will eat the leaves and berries. The spiky twisted branches can be laid to make a dead hedge that will deter deer and other critters from the garden. Of course the wood can be used as stick fuel or kindling. The ones I've seen seem to die off after a few years in one place, but new ones pop up close by. They are Nitrogen fixers so by cutting back the older growth you can help add the nitrogen in the roots to your soil more quickly. There is a lot of diversity in the taste of the berries so try them from many different plants. You'll probably find some are really astringent and sour while others can be quite sweet.

Good Luck

 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tasted some this year a little astringent but not bad for a wild plant , they seem pretty innocuous. The bushes are attractive I had noticed the flowers earlier in the year and that got me curious . I can not really see why they are recommended to be removed, the other early colonizers at the moment are pussy willow and loads of briar rose ( the briar we will pull some out eventually ) .
I wonder if the deer will like them to browse on ? I know they nibble the pussy willow you can tell by the way they are branching.

Sue
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Sue,

We need to establish a wild hedge on part of our property and want it to double as a wildlife food source. If you save the seeds from the autumn olive and the hips from the roses I could put them to good use!
 
Akiva Silver
Posts: 161
10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We love them and use them for making fruit leather and juice, they are really amazing under-utilized berries that are incredibly good for you with sky high levels of antioxidants in the form of lycopene. Several cultivated varieties exist, but the wild ones are so abundant and often very good. I would only kill them if you have a specific use for the space they are currently occupying.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Akiva thank you I will let them grow , they are not in the way at the moment

Cortland I will look ( it has been weeks since I saw the berries ) I think there are hips these are the roses with the tiny hips look more like berries and have almost not there flowers but tons of thorns !
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Susan...

Thank You! It is most likely too late this year to collect their seeds. On the roses, I am familiar with them...they make a great hedge fence filler! Which is what I am looking for. If you are able to get those, I can either send a PPE to you or I can swap you some other seeds.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I will get a chance to look friday or Sat where are you located ?
sue
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are in Central Virginia. Thanks!
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cortland not one berry left on the Autumn olive , but I grabbed a bunch of the tiny rose hips for you
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks! I am sending you a PM to work out the details.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Finally I got a picture to post by first putting it at image event , there should be an easier way


 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2092
65
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The berries are extremely nutritious! Every male you know should eat them. They are the best natural source of lycopene, the antioxidant that best fights prostate cancer, which all men will get if they are lucky enough to reach 85 years old. They have 17 times more than tomatoes.
John S
PDX OR
 
Wi Tim
Posts: 63
Location: North Idaho, zone 5a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just found a few berries on my Autumn Olive plants a few days ago. Did not see them blooming, and thought the plants were too young.
Interesting, because the Goumi plant had berries back in August.
 
Wi Tim
Posts: 63
Location: North Idaho, zone 5a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
By the way, I worried if Autumn Olives can become invasive in my case. But it looks like they might not - before fully established, they need regular watering. A few of mine "almost died" last summer. So it might be the reason why they are not classified as invasive west of Mississippi.
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2092
65
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The goumis and autumn olives fruit at very different times, but their flowering time is not so different. Goumis ripen about late May through June and into early July here.

Autumn olive ripens in September, through October, and into November here normally. I think I was eating them in December this year actually.

Autumn olive is a small tree size, whereas goumi is a large, wide bush naturally.
John S
PDX OR
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I noticed 6-7 of them so far and they are already taller by me by 1 1/2 times at least
( keep in mind much of the property is so overgrown only the deer and coyotes see it !) I am sure there are way more . I do not spend near enough time walking the property I use most of my personal time to dig in the garden

they are not unattractive , not thorny and not poisonous or itchy . So I am not seeing any reason to control them .
I am sort of hoping they are good brows for the deer because I would prefer them to stay down in the meadow and field areas that are growing in and out if the garden .
I sure prefer them to all the wild rose that are thorny and have very boring flowers . and to the poison ivy!
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2092
65
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The flowers smell good and are a hummingbird magnet. They are pest and disease free, and great diversifiers for your yard (we don't typically grow a lot of Eleagnus family plants in our yards.) I think someone already mentioned that they are nitrogen fixers.
John S
PDX OR
 
David Good
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Equatorial tropics
30
books forest garden
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm planting them on purpose. KEEP!
 
Sean Abercrombie
Posts: 13
Location: southern Michigan
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Around here we have autumn olives-Elaeagnus umbellata- all over the place, common as buckthorn, seeded out from remnants of old farms. Growing out by themselves they reach more or less 10ft tall by the same or more wide, shading the soil underneath, a nice rich black layer on top. Oak, black cherry, apples, and other trees will grow right in alongside them and they are good spring forage for pollinators. The wood seems to rot fairly quickly when the canes/limbs die, so im not sure if it has much use.

In a study done in 2008 they showed nitrogen concentrations were "significantly higher" in the leaves of walnut trees planted with autumn olives than those without, while the reverse was true for potassium. The older they get the more nitrogen they seem to provide.

The bushes/berries ripen at different times and have slightly different characteristics but usually taste very similar if picked when vibrant red and loose, cold weather seems to sweeten them. By themselves I think the berries are amazing, only one fairly large seed to spit out and if you make fruit leathers they taste like unsweetened store-bought fruit snacks. The fruit is extremely high in lycopene (up to 17 times more than tomatoes), vitamin E, A, C, and other good stuff.

They do appear to spread easily as they get eaten by everything from birds to squirrels, but already seem to be everywhere so invasive or not they are here to stay. Groundhogs seem to like making dens underneath older bushes if the soil is sandy enough, any gardens nearby and you might invite in the marmotocalypse, truly terrifying.
 
Andrew Mateskon
Posts: 84
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I picked them this year, the kids and I (and the dogs, too!) ate them right off the bush, and we picked about 5 gallons from just 2 bushes to make a nice wine. The wine is awesome, though I forgot Pectic Enzyme and it is a bit cloudy.

They will not grow well under canopy of forest, if you decide to plant something taller than they are, they may 'nurse' your planted trees with Nitrogen fixation, then you can cut them down and they will not come back until the shade is cleared again. Their seeds will likely persist for a long time in the seedbank in the soil, so they may never be gone from the site. They will help your trees grow much faster with all that Nitrogen fixation, if you choose to plant some trees there.

Check out my story about Autumnberries here:

http://legacypolycultures.com/posted-ideas/
 
Tina Paxton
Posts: 283
Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Autumn Olive, Elaeagnus umbellata, is eaten by deer and cottontail rabbits eat the bark (per West Virgina Univ). This tells me that ruminants find it a good food source and rabbits enjoy the bark. So, this plant goes on my list of foods grown on my property that my rabbits can eat. Currently, my Autumn Olive is small an in a pot but hopefully in a few years I'll be able to feed the trim to my rabbits.
 
It runs on an internal combustion engine. This ad does not:
Learn, Design, Teach, & Inspire with Permaculture games.
FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!