Introduction of Tamarisk
Russian olives are originally from Europe and Asia.
They were intentionally brought to the United States as ornamental trees because
they grow fast.
they add interesting color and texture to landscaping.
they have a pleasant odor.
They out-compete native woody vegetation and often result in a monoculture.
Russian olive can spread very rapidly.
Birds are the main seed dispersers of Russian olive.
Heavy infestations of Russian olive reduce diversity and value of the riparian community.
Some wildlife species will use Russian olive; others (e.g., raptors, woodpeckers, many songbirds) will not.
Full-blown infestations of Russian olive may take as little as 30 years.
They have no native enemies in the United States.
Look alike plant
Silver buffaloberry is native to the United States.
Buffaloberry has the same general look and can easily be mistaken for Russian olive.
Silver buffaloberry is considered a desirable riparian plant.
It grows much slower than Russian olive.
Both have small silvery-green leaves and large thorns.
Russian olive has leaves that alternate in position on the twigs.
Buffaloberry has leaves that are opposite each other on the twigs.
Removal of Russian olive
Russian olive can grow as a tree with a single main trunk or as a "shrub" with multiple stems.
When it looks like a shrub (first, make sure it is not buffaloberry), it is usually from earlier cutting of main stem. Therefore, if removal is done improperly, it can result in dense thickets.
To guarantee success, Russian olive must be chemically treated.
Round-up® is very effective and can be applied directly to target wood so the chemical does not leave the tree.
The "cut-stump" method is effective when the goal is to remove the standing tree. Cut tree and "paint" stump with Round-up®.
If you wish to leave the tree as a snag, you can apply Round-up® to the wood in a couple ways:
- Slash the trunk in several places and apply Round-up® to the wound.
- Drill holes in the trunk close to the ground and apply Round-up® to drill holes; about 5-8 drill holes per moderately-sized trees will usually suffice.
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