[NAFEX] autumn olive

Kieran &/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Sep 10 23:15:29 EDT 2009

My position on autumn olives was similar to Hector's till we went on a trip over the mtns to Virginia and saw whole fields that had been completely taken over by autumn olive.  One place looked like about 5 acres of autumn olive with an abandoned house in the middle, the plants came up to the eaves.  But still, I expect them to be a problem in degraded areas:  logged woods and abandoned fields.  I don't think they would stand up to a lot of browsing animals,  as any N fixer is going to have higher N content than plants around them.  We are about to find out I guess.  Our dogs have done a good job of keeping deer away (think there must be some poaching as well, as we really aren't overrun with them).  So for 15 years we have had no browsing or grazing on our property, and I'm tired of doing it all by hand.  So we got 2 fainting goats that had been on pasture.  It is weird to watch goats eat grass!  Out milk goats considered grass to be famine food.  So far the fainters have figured out that they like mimosa, sumac, honeysuckle and poor Mr. Blackberry.  They don't seem too interested in my hazels, nor have I seen one bite taken out of an autumn olive.  But give them time, they are just learning about real goat food.   Donna 
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