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nafex - Re: [nafex] Elaeagnus angustifolia

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  • From: Elizabeth Hilborn <>
  • To: nafex mailing list at ibiblio <>
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] Elaeagnus angustifolia
  • Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 06:48:28 -0400

Mary, I do not think that humidity is the key variable. I live in a very humid zone 7. They are intrepid invaders here in both disturbed and intact forest and grasslands, I manage them, but cannot eradicate them.

I would not plant one on purpose.

Betsy Hilborn
Zone 7a (again!), NC

On 3/27/2014 3:02 PM, Mary Yett wrote:
Whether or not a plant becomes invasive depends a lot on the local climate.
Here on Manitoulin Island, Ontario in a humid zone 4 with a maritime
climate ( cool summers), none of the Eleagnus spp have ever become a pest
sp. In hotter, southern Ontario, there are areas where Autumn Olive, for
example , has naturalized as a pioneer sp.

In humid climates,these pioneer spp typically establish only on disturbed
and/or infertile ground. Their role in the natural succession of
temperate,humid ecosystems is to fix nitrogen from the air, improve the
soil, provide a bit of shade for other, taller trees to germinate in and
then die out when the taller trees shade them out.

Our dominate agriculture system keeps succession at the ruderal stage
(early annual weeds, ie annual crops, and pioneer woody spp) by the use of
constant disturbance (plowing annually,mowing roadsides, etc). This creates
good habitat for pioneer spp, both native and introduced.If left alone in a
temperate humid climate, Eleagnus spp just do their work and then fade away
and do not have a negative impact on the native ecosystems.

I realize that in a dry climate, esp with poor soils, the picture can be
very different.

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM, Robert Stanton

Just out of curiosity, does anyone on this list consider the invasive
potential of the plants they use? I dedicate a significant portion of my
time to removing autumn and Russian olive from landscapes here in the
midwest, and it's always disheartening to hear others actively planting
more of what needs to be removed to maintain diverse natural plant


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