Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus Umbellata)
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) is an evergreen shrub first introduced into cultivation in 1830 for use as ornamentals, windbreaks, soil reclamation and wildlife habitat. Today it can be found throughout central and eastern US regions, growing in grasslands, fields, open woodlands and roadsides.
Outcompeting and dislodging native plants, it alters soil chemistry by shading them, spreading via bird-dispersed seeds, and disrupting natural succession and nutrient cycling processes.
Early Life and Education
Autumn olive is a hardy, fast-growing shrub brought into America during the 1800s for use as windbreaks, erosion control along roadsides and as a food source for wildlife. It boasts beautiful silvery foliage, fragrant cream-colored flowers and clusters of bright red berries which all combine for its charms.
Once established, this plant can become difficult to eliminate as its rapid root growth leads to rapid spread by root suckers – eventually reaching heights of 20 feet!
Autumn olive is native to eastern Asia and can easily be identified by its silvery undersides and alternately-arranged leaves, making for easy recognition on pastures or other unmanaged spaces. Dense thickets may form on pastures that go without regular mowing and maintenance.
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) is an East Asian native shrub introduced to North America during the 1800s, where it has since spread widely via birds. A prolific seed producer, its seeds can easily spread by birds into diverse environments where it outcompetes and displaces native species such as prairies, savannahs, woodlands and roadsides; shading out native grasses while disrupting soil chemistry through allelopathy can disrupt natural balance – making Autumn Olive unsuitable for forest management practices.
NCC has successfully eradicated autumn olives in Norfolk County in southwestern Ontario and plans to tackle populations on Pelee Island this fall 2014. Furthermore, cutting and herbicide application are used to manage populations on other properties.