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Getting Rid of Russian Olive Tree

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This attractive shrub or small tree is originally from central Asia. Despite its beauty and some medicinal uses, this tree, in some areas, is considered an invasive weed. This is a guide about getting rid of Russian olive tree.
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By 0 found this helpful
August 7, 2006

Question:

Does anyone know how to get rid of the Russian Olive bush, it is very invasive. I hope someone knows of something easy.

Hardiness Zone: 4a

Thanks for you help.

Barb from MI

Answer:

Barb, This is a difficult species to control. I suppose "easy" is a relative term, but total removal is your best bet. The Russian Olive Bush is able to outcompete native vegetation due to its ability to fix nitrogen in its roots. This enables it to establish itself and grow successfully in areas where native trees and shrubs simply cannot survive. Eventually, the Russian Olive Bush will take over the surrounding environment, beating out the native plants in the competition for water and nutrients. Because the Russian Olive Bush doesn't succumb easily to natural controls (e.g. grazing herbivores or insect damage), most sources I have researched suggest mowing down the bushes with a brush mower and then digging out the roots. This should be done in the early spring, when wet soil makes it easier to remove the roots completely. It's important to dig out all of the roots, because trying to control these bushes by burning or mowing alone will just result in the roots sending up dozens of more sprouts. Chemical controls like Roundup can be applied to cut stumps, but they will only be temporarily effective if the roots are not completely removed.
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Good Luck!
Ellen

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