Autumn Olive in Partial Shade/Dry Soil

shazaam(NC 7B)October 26, 2013

Does anyone have experience growing Autumn Olive in partial shade and/or drought prone areas? The area that I have in mind receives a combined total of 5 or so hours of morning and late afternoon sun, and the soil is brick-hard clay that tends to stay very dry (it's under the high canopies of two mature white oak trees). So far, the only fruiting shrub that I've been able to establish there is a Goumi seedling, and it's thriving. That gives me hope that Autumn Olive might work, as well...

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Keep in mind that Autumn Olive is highly invasive in NC. I prefer to just pick the fruit off the wild ones in my neighborhood rather than plant a bush myself. I have seen named varieties that had abundant & larger berries. I still prefer Goumi (which fruit in the Spring). They seem to grow in just about any soil. They don't do the best in solid clay so I would try to improve it somewhat and maybe water it every once in a while just to improve the chances for a fruit crop.

check out - fruit lovers dot com - for So Shang (GW won't let me post a business name, so make it all one word with a period for the dot). Mine have not done well but I will order some more next year and try again.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 9:07AM
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In my arid climate, AO really needs plenty of supplemental water, especially to look good and/or have any chance of fruiting. I've seen plenty of them growing in shade in the wild, but never producing a good crop of berries in that situation.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:12AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Thanks for your input, guys. I should probably just stick with Goumi, but it would be nice to spread out the harvest season. Perhaps I'll try one Autumn Olive and see how it goes. I've read that it's invasive here in NC, but I don't recall ever encountering one growing wild. I have a feeling, though, that my Sweet Scarlet Goumi could easily spread -- I dropped five or six insect damaged berries on the ground this spring, and I have several vigorous seedlings to show for it.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:40AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Goumi is really just an autumn olive, as are silverberries, so get what you want. They no doubt all can be invasive. But they are easily destroyed, unlike say running bamboo. I'm growing invasive Rubus species myself...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:27PM
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"Goumi is really just an autumn olive, as are silverberries..."

I'm not sure what you intend to mean by this Drew. There definitely is some confusion with certain common names , but not with scientific ones (I'm assuming by "silverberry" you mean Elaeagnus commutata). I would agree that all three taste very similar and should be similar culinarily. The plants are even somewhat similar in form, etc., and many places erroneously sell autumn olive as goumi...

BUT, there are numerous differences. Silverberry is native to much of North America, while the other two are Asian species. Goumi fruits much earlier than the other two with a larger berry. Silverberry is very thorny and the fruits difficult to harvest, while AO is produces an abundance of small easily harvested fruit that stay on the bushes well into the fall. Lastly, in most areas where AO is invasive, goumi is definitely not, and I doubt if silverberry is invasive anywhere. In a huge section of the West, Russian Olive is the only invasive member of the genus, while this same species does not seem to be a problem farther east.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 2:50PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

The invasiveness is because birds deposit the seeds, so are you saying the birds don't like silverberries? OK, well alligators and crocodiles are quite different, but they are amphibious reptiles, and all three berry plants fix nitrogen. Obviously extremely closely related. So what I'm saying is 6 of 1 or 1/2 dozen of the other. They are so closely related they are all the same genus! So my analogy with the reptiles is way off as they are not the same genus.
So sure cherries and peaches are different, but they are so closely related it is possible to cross breed them. So no doubt hybrids of the three Elaeagnus species is very possible. Much like the Rubus species of blackberries and raspberries. Is there really much difference? No obviously.
That's what I'm saying. I would be willing to bet all three can be invasive under the right conditions.
I have heard many gardeners joke about Goumi, saying it's really just a fancy name for some autumn olives.

Autumn Olives are also called Japanese silverberries
Goumi is also called the cherry silverberry.
At least according to wiki.
Goumi, autumn olive or silverberry are common names, and have no basis in what they actually are. And all are Elaeagnus species. Invasiveness is a matter of opinion.
Some states do not consider any of them invasive. No restrictions at all in my state. They are not considered invasive here.
"in most areas where AO is invasive, goumi is definitely not"

The USDA found goumi growing wild in 12 states
Some consider goumi as invasive, I would say for sure it is.
I can always back up what i say. See link in attached article as to what states have been invaded by this Asian species.

Here is a link that might be useful: The invasive goumi

This post was edited by Drew51 on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 17:18

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 4:27PM
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I don't get much berries off my goumi or autumn olive, birds eat most of them.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 5:32PM
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