Russian olive

wdc202(Wash. DC)April 5, 2009

I have a 20-year old Russian olive (more a bush than a tree) that I planted from a rooting. It is in a fairly shaded spot. It is now about 8 feet tall but it is overly scraggly. Will a fertilizer promote more new growth? What kind of fertilizer is best?

I would like to try some new Russian olive cuttings but canĂ¢t remember how. Do I use old or new growth?


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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Fertilizing it would likely result in lankier growth. Russian olives prefer full sun, so the best thing you could do for the plant is to transplant it to a sunnier location or clear away some of whatever is shading it.

BTW, Elaeagnus angustifolia is considered an invasive species (destructive to the environment) in your area (as well as a good part of the US), so you might consider complete removal of the plant.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 2:15PM
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wdc202(Wash. DC)

Brandon7: Thank you very much. I did not know that.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 2:31PM
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kiddo_1(NE OH 5)

Here is a link that you might find helpful in identifying invasives for a USA location. Scroll down and click on your state.

Here is a link that might be useful: USA invasives

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 7:57AM
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wdc202(Wash. DC)

Thank you both. I will NOT fertilize the Russian olive. I would take it out if it were not so large and established. However, as it shows no signs of spreading (invading) other areas I will just let it be. ..wdc

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:59AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

The russian olive makes tasty berries and the birds will spread it around.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:14AM
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I have planted many Russian olive trees over the years only to find that now they cannot be sold and therefore purchased in the state of Wyoming because they are classified as a noxious weed. For years you could buy them by the hundreds from the various counties for windbreak plantings and you could count on them to survive where a lot of other trees failed. What a shame that people are now put on guilt trip for having a wonderful tree that is adapted to, and thrives in this part of the country.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:59PM
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Sorry I got so worked up I forgot to answer your question. I always trim the Russian olive to look like a tree by cutting off the lower branches and thinning out inward growing upper branches. When you do that it puts more energy into the remaining upper branches and will grow taller and transform itself from a bush into a tree. They do like miracle grow and extra water. If you have alkaline soil use some miracid occasionally. At this point your tree will have a good root system and should respond well to any tlc you give it. Finding information on propagating them seems impossible because so many states are putting them on their "hit list" but because the seeds are spread so readily by the birds they are easy to find as seedlings and people want to get rid of them.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:15PM
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wdc202(Wash. DC)

Genrator 00: Thanks so much for your pruning tips on my Russian olive. I will try them.

I too was surprised to see Russian olive's "outlaw" classification. I know it is still used widely on the eastern tip of Long Island (Montaulk, etc.)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:55PM
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Russian Olives are tolerant of saline (salty) soils and that alone keeps them from spreading like wildfire and are particularly useful along ocean shorelines. I fully intend to plant a whole bunch of them as we have saline soil and in fact our well water has a certain amount of sodium in it. Nothing else grows in the area I want to plant them.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 5:11PM
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My horses have eaten the bark off 8 of my russian olives and we are hoping they don't die...... Is there anything I can do to save them being that is winter and very cold ??????? also how do you propagate them???????

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 11:19AM
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