[NAFEX] King Red Russion Olive die back

John S swim_at_svc at yahoo.com
Thu May 29 13:40:25 EDT 2008


Lee,  Mine came from Forest Farm and was about 2.5' tall when I received it.  I've been thinking of giving it some lime.  I do not think it gets too much water where I have it but we have had relatively dry winters with almost no snow cover here for the past few years.  I could not find an agreeable source for common russian olive at the time I was looking.

While I have your attention, I hope you'll include a chapter on seaberry in your next edition!  

John



Lee Reich <garden at leereich.com> wrote: John, my King Red trees were very small when they died back so a "little" dieback meant the end of the plant. The plants started out only a foot or so high. I suspect that it has something to do with humidity because King Red is native to the dry regions near or in Afghanistan. Also, I believe it does very well out West, where it was introduced as a conservation plant (until it was banned for being invasive). 

But perhaps it would be worth a try in a soil that was very well-drained and relatively alkaline. I've seen the fruiting branches and tasted the fruit (Hector Black had some commercial samples sent, I believe, from Iran). It's quite pretty when in fruit, and tasty.

Gumi does fine for me as does, of course, autumn olive. I've also grown non-King Red Russian olive, which generally does well throughout the northeast. Many people consider it to be invasive but I rarely, if ever, have seen it self-seed. Where did you get your King Red?


Lee



 Lee Reich, PhD
http://leereich.com/


Books by Lee Reich:
The Pruning Book
Weedless Gardening
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
A Northeast Gardener's Year

 

On May 28, 2008, at 10:44 PM, John S wrote:

Lee, I am in southwestern PA.  I have wondered if it could be soil pH, our unusually mild winters, delayed cool springs for the die back years, etc.  A very pretty tree.   At the rate this is going, I will lose the tree in the next year or two.  Did you see large sections of deadwood on your die backs or did the whole tree fail at once.  Here I am seeing sections of the tree just fail to leaf out at all or start then fail.

This was my first attempt with russian olive and the tree really thrived for a few years.  I've had die back, die-out problems with goumi that live a couple of years, then start to leaf out in the spring, get hit with a cold spell and die.  I thought this was just bad luck for the goumi but now I am wondering if there is something about the biology of the Eleagnus that makes it sensitive to this.  For what its worth, I am also growing a number of autumn olives without issue.

Thanks for a great book, btw, much enjoyed.

Thanks for the response.

John

Lee Reich <garden at leereich.com> wrote:  I don't know where you are located but here in NY, at least, King Red has collapsed and died every time I tried it. I've heard similar reports from others here in the east. This would happen during its first season in the ground.

John, where are you located?



 Lee Reich, PhD
http://leereich.com/


Books by Lee Reich:
The Pruning Book
Weedless Gardening
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
A Northeast Gardener's Year

 

On May 27, 2008, at 8:37 PM, John S wrote:

I have a King Red Russion Olive, probably 7 years old.  It grew rapidly during the first 3-4 years from about 3' to about 9'.  During the past 3 years it has experienced significant die back and is now about 4' tall.

I've seen Lee Reich's comment about die back in his book, but was wondering is anybody has further insight to offer.  There is no visible signs I can find of insect or disease.  Pruned dead wood shows nothing inside either.  Basically portions of the tree don't leaf out, or start to leaf out but don't make it past the big bud or very small leaf stage.

Any insight would be appreciated.  The tree has never bloomed.


       

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