Thursday, May 9, 2013

The enemy is blooming.

Sometime in the 1800's apparently someone thought it was a good idea to bring this plant to America.  

The Russian Olive

Historically these plants have been used for erosion control, strip mine reclamation, wildlife habitat, and in landscaping. Regrettably these bushes have erosion around them.

The Russian-olive are an invasive, deciduous shrub or small tree that grows to 20 feet tall.  It has yellow flowers and dry yellow mealy fruit. Silver scales occur on the underside of the leaves. The twigs of Russian-olive are typically covered with thorns. These shrubs begin to flower and fruit annually after 3 years. An individual plant can produce 8 pounds of fruit each year. Currently these flowers are blooming and from all research they would call them fragrant.  However with so many of these blooming around the pastures and the fact that I believe fragrant to be a positive term, I find this a false statement.  These plants stink really bad.  I am wondering how long this "fragrant" blooming will go on.

Some of the problems or benefits, of the  Russian-olive are that they have nitrogen-fixing root nodules which allows them to adapt to many poor soil types. They are found in areas such as pastures and fields, grasslands and sparse woodlands. The grow aggressively  and take over native plants and shrubs. They grow rapidly and re-sprout heavily after cutting or burning.   
To make a longer story short, these shrubs are a nuisance like with most non-native species they don't do what they were intended to do.  The thorns that cover the shrubs/trees do not allow you to maneuver through them to find cows or calves.  I believe the cows are aware of the thorns and purposely hide in the Russian Olives.  They do not stop all erosion. They are unmanageable and cause a great deal of expense.  Oh and did I mention they smell bad. They smell like the enemy.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds as bad as our multiflora rose problem that Lady Bird Johnson saddled us with.