[NAFEX] autumn olive Now "Invasive plants"

Kieran &/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Fri Sep 11 11:34:27 EDT 2009

" I'm not sure what side of the issue you are on from this post."

    I'm pretty neutral really.  I think autumn olives are great plants with the potential to be  a big problem in some places and some circumstances.  They are much, much better to have than some other invasives.  I'm thinking of the two invasive honeysuckles here, the twining one and the tartarian, both very bad!  Autumn olive at least pays it's way in N-fixing, and the trees will win out in the end, whereas honeysuckle kills and deforms trees.  Consider Kudzu, a much cursed monster in the South, but a terrific plant that also fixes N, is drought proof and has the protein content of alfalfa.  But it has to be USED to keep it under control, which it is in the Orient.  Or our bamboo patch, which we both love and hate with great passion.  Or Apios americana, which I made the mistake of planting in the garden some 10 years ago.  I found that a small plant of it that had gotten into the perennial section was in bloom this year.  I was saying, "Oh no, now we're in trouble!"  My son was puzzled, asked why, and about that time my husband saw the blooms and said, "We're doomed!" in a sepulchral tone.  I don't know if we got across exactly what the problem is, but at least our reaction was strong enough to make him nervous about the stuff.  But great eating, and it's underground food that know one knows about except us.  The fact that it is very good friends with the Jerusalem artichokes means that there is a WHOLE LOT of food down at the neglected edge of the garden.  I probably won't buy a potato the whole winter.  We've been through winters like that, but Apios doesn't like drought and actually slowed down in '05 and '07.  But now it's recovered and I worry about it reaching my fruit trees.  It's weird to think that goats might actually SAVE my fruit trees rather than munch them down, if I play my cards right.      Donna 
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