This shrub was introduced from Asia and has become a nuisance in Michigan. It is sometimes mistakenly called Russian olive. Russian olive is a related species of tree. Both can be a problem, but autumn olive is more prevalent in Michigan. It colonizes roadsides and fields and soon forms impenetrable thickets. The invasion of fields results in a loss of plants that wildlife need for food, and an interruption in the natural succession from meadow to forest. Autumn olive has narrow leaves that are silvery light green on the underside. Russian olive will have more of a blueish color, and the leaves are longer and narrower. Autumn olive branches have thorns from one-inch to one and a half-inches long. Red berry like fruit ripens in fall.
To prevent your fields from being taken over by this shrub, inspect the fields for young plants frequently. If you find them they can be destroyed by several methods. Small seedlings can be pulled or dug from the soil. Simply cutting the plants will result in vigorous re-sprouting. Larger plants may require herbicide. Several application methods are safe and effective. Beware, some over-the-counter herbicides may damage or kill surrounding trees or shrubs.
For a consultation on your property contact Jim at (800) 954-1444 or use the contact form on our website.