[NAFEX] Autumn olive, invasive? Maybe yes and no.

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Fri Sep 11 14:34:38 EDT 2009


Betsy wrote, "Autumn olive is a terrible pest here in central NC. The birds
spread the
seeds.  If left unchecked, it creates dense thickets of thorny brush as a
monoculture understory.  It seems to thrive in both shade and sun here."

Hmmm, central NC-  wouldn't be tired old former tobacco farm soil would it?
Maybe old waste sites from coal strip mining?  Fixing N is energy expensive
and is only a competitive advantage in poor soils as I understand it.
Barberry is our big understory invasive up here in the northeast- never seen
more than an occassional autumn olive except in intentional mass plantings.
Maybe when AO improves the soil enough down there, forest trees will close
them off.

On my property I gave up on selected strains from Hidden Springs Nursery.
Fruit was huge but they never lost extreme astringency.  I have a few I got
from the soil conservation district on the edges of my property and they've
never produced a single volunteer after almost 20 years.

Great bee forage and the mid-spring blossums are wonderfully fragrant.  I
think you need to know something about nearby soil to know if they can be
invasive.
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