1 RUSSIAN OLIVE ) Elaeagnus angustifolia ( Description: Russian olive, also referred to as wild olive, oleaster, and silver berry, is a member of the Elaeagnaceae or Oleaster family. Russian oliv e is a fast-growing tree of moderate size that can reach heights from 10 to 25 feet. The trunks and branches of the tree are armed with 1 to 2 inch woody thorns. Leaves are simple, alternate, lanceolate to oblong, entire, and 1 1/2 to 3 inches in length. The upper surfaces of the leaves are light green and covered with silvery star-shaped hairs. The lower l eaf surfaces are silvery white and densely covered with scales. Russian olive flowers are yellow, rs. Fruits are olive-shaped, fragrant, and arranged in cluste ery when first formed, and tan produced in large quantities, silv to brown at maturity. Plant Images: Russian olive t Frui e g Flowers and folia k Mature bar and is primarily found throughout the Distribution and Habitat: Russian olive is native to Europe and can be associated with . The tree prefers sandy floodplains central and western United States isture conditions from open, moist riparian habitats. Russian olive can tolerate a variety of mo on bare, mineral substrates. The tolerate shade and can establish floods to droughts. The tree can abundant in riparian elds, open areas, and is tree is commonly found along streams, marshes, fi zones in the Great Plains. long-lived shrub or small tree that grows rapidly Russian olive is a hardy, Life History/Ecology: may establish from underground rootstalks. and reproduces primarily by seed production, but
2 Seedlings germinate anytime from fall to spring a nd develop a lateral root system. Russian olive tree is three to five years old. The tree generally flowers from is unable to bear fruit until the May to June and fruits mature from August to October. Seeds may remain viable up to three years. History of Introduction: Russian olive is native to Europe and western Asia. The tree was originally planted in the United St ates in the late 1800s as an or namental shrub or small tree. The tree was recommended for wildlife plantings , soil stabilization, and windbreaks up until the ed windbreak and horticultural planting that has 1980s. Russian olive is now considered an escap become naturalized in riparian areas throughout the western United States . In North Dakota, Russian olive was widely plante d as a windbreak in conservation plantings. Russian olive has been reported in the majority of the counties wi thin the state with the exception of the north- central part of the state. Howe of the invasive populations of the ver, at this time the distribution an olive was likely planted in almost every species has yet to be determined because Russi county. Effects of Invasion: Russian olive is an aggressive speci es that can quickly invade riparian at out-compete and displace native vegetation, areas. The tree forms dense, monotypic stands th thus tree communities and wildlife habitats are quickly altered. Russian olive can also affect ng lowland riparian forests with open, upland nutrient cycling and system hydrology by connecti areas. Once infestations are es tablished, stream bank stabilization is increased and river stage levels are reduced, creating a rela tively dry upland site. As a re sult, desirable areas for native cottonwood and willow establishment become lim ited as these species cannot compete with advancing populations of Russian olive. Control: rol should involve earl y detection and rapid Management objectives for Russian olive cont response once populations are detect ed. Large, mature stands of Russian olive are almost impossible to completely eradicate, but small populations of the species can be adequately le in the soil for up to three years and plants controlled. Seeds of Russian olive can remain viab the root crown, therefore eradicated infestations can resprout or develop from root suckers from should be monitored for several ye ars to prevent re-establishment. Mechanical - Hand pulling Russian olive is feasible when soil is moist. A weed wrench can be used to remove saplings with a trunk diameter less than 3 1/2 inches. Digging or pulling out larger trees is labor intensive and not recommen ded because the tree may re-sprout from root can control young seedlings, but larger trees may resprout fragments left behind. Mowing vigorously after being cut. Gird e unless combined with another ling or cutting is not effectiv control method. Prescribed burning may control sm all seedlings but will not adequately control larger trees. Chemical can be effective in controlling Russian - Triclopyr ester, glyphosate, and imazapyr olive. Cut-stump methods can be effective if the trunk is cut as close to the ground as possible and herbicides are immediately applied to the cut surface of the tree. Foliar spraying or injecting herbicide capsules around the base of the tr unk has also been shown to be successful.
3 Contact your local county extensi on agent for recommended use ra tes, locations, and timing. Biological - There are no reported biologi cal control agents registered to control Russian olive. References: Department of Natural Resources Trails and Waterways. 2003. Russian olive, Elaeagnus In angustifolia rrestrial trees and identification p. 13-14 Minnesota invasive non-native te Dept. Nat. Res., St. Paul, MN. guide for resource managers. MN plants-their identification, ornamental Dirr, M. A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape th and propagation and uses 5 characteristics, culture Ed. Stipis Publishing L.L.C., Champaign, IL. 1187 pp. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press of Kansas. 1392 pp. tt. 1995. Germination and establishment of the Shafroth, P. B., G. T. Auble, and M. L. Sco native plains cottonwood ( Populus deltoides Marshall subsq. monilifera ) and the Exotic Russian-olive ( Elaeagnus angustifolia L.). Conserv. Biol. 9(5):1170-1175. Effects Information System, [Online]. U. S. Tesky, J. L. 1992. Elaeagnus angustifolia. In: Fire Department of Agriculture, Forest Servi ce, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/dat abse/feis/ (February 2005). Elaeagnus angustifolia L. - Russian olive, Tu, M. 2003. Element stewardship abstract for http://tncweeds.uc davis.edu/esadocs/ documnts/elaeang.pdf. oleaster. [Online.] Available: Prepared for The Nature Conserva ncy, Arlington, VA 10 pp. (October 2004). th Ed. Western Society of Weed Science, Whitson, T. D., editor. 2 000. Weeds of the West 9 Newark, CA 94560. 630pp. Russian olive and mature bark photograph c ourtesy of J. S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. Flowers and foliage photograph courtesy of Paul Wray, Iowa State University (www.invasive.org). Fruit photograph courtesy of USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/ Herman, D. E. et al. 1996. North Dakota Tree Handbook . USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Ar ea Power Admin., Bismarck, ND.