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Autumn Olive and Wild Roses Died Abruptly

 
Chris Gallo
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan 6a/5b
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I had a number of Autumn Olive trees and some wild Rose bushes that I have let grow in my pastures and around the other parts of our property. This year, none of them leafed out in the spring and they were all dead by summer. Nearly every one. Notably, two very large Autumn Olives that were great shade for the cattle and a couple wild roses that had gotten very large, but even the smaller ones died.

Has anyone heard of this before? I did not have any trouble with anything else.
 
Akiva Silver
Posts: 154
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That's weird about the autumn olives. They usually live to be about 30 or 40 years old and then die (unless coppiced earlier, which can greatly extend their life).
The roses might have died from rose rossette disease which has wiped out almost all the wild roses on my property here in upstate NY.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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The Autumn Olive here have been a little lacking this year as well. The really large ones (20+ft) struggled to leaf out and the little ones barely grew at all. The ones that did fruit only had fruit on a few branches rather than the whole plant. That being said, the fruited branches were loaded with nice sweet fruits. Still... it's weird to see them lagging behind.

As for the roses, I've noticed that they really didn't flower well this year. What flowers there were didn't last long and lacked the sweet smell they usually have. The fruits are small and mostly shriveled dry spikey nubs. Not at all appealing.

On the other hand, my apple trees are nearly breaking over with heavy, huge fruits. soooooo many apples even the pigs can't keep up with it all.


That's nature for you.
 
Jay Vinekeeper
Posts: 77
Location: Northwest Lower MI
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I'm a bit further north on the lower peninsula.

Had a lot of autumn olive "die" this year due to harsher than recent normal winter weather. This seems to happen periodically to some of the plants within the genome.
I would say about half of the large population of autumn olive in the Grand Traverse region appear to have died back, but not died out.

If you will look closely at the base of the plant, I bet you will see new shoots coming up this summer on many if not all of the plants that appear to have died.

Give it all a couple of years and your shrubs will be back to looking good and bearing fruit.

The last two winters have seen what I consider to be near normal winter conditions. What seems to get the autumn olives are either a hard and deep freeze greater than minus twenty ... or a prolonged period of sub-normal temps without a break. Something like two weeks of nothing above freezing may be enough to knock the tops out of the autumn olive.

If not the cold, then meadow voles working under the snow cover can girdle the stems down low, almost out of view, and create the same effect. The plants will come back in most cases.
 
steve bossie
Posts: 248
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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thats wierd! I'm up in zone3 here in n. maine and i planted 5 3ft. tall autumn olives. our winter was brutal this year w/ -30f for 2 months strait! to make it worse we had very little snow cover. i thought for sure my autumn olives were doomed! all leafed out with only 1 that had minor frost damage. maybe they were stressed before winter hit? from what i read they are a tough shrub to kill. hopefully the roots survived and they come back for you.
 
Chris Gallo
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Location: Mid-Michigan 6a/5b
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Thanks for all of the replies. Yes, nearly all of them have shoots coming out of the base. Some of them had been growing for 15 years, however. I have a long time to wait for replacements! C
 
steve bossie
Posts: 248
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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Chris Gallo wrote:Thanks for all of the replies. Yes, nearly all of them have shoots coming out of the base. Some of them had been growing for 15 years, however. I have a long time to wait for replacements! C
yeah that bites! maybe as in coppicing if you prune to just 1 strong shoot they will come back a lot quicker. you do have a large root systems still intact. i would think they would grow back in half that time w/ a little t.l.c and fertilizer! good luck! by the way, how long do i have to wait before my a. olives produce? they're 4ft. now. thanks!
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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