Russian Olive


Elaeagnus angustifolia

Background: This tree, from Europe, is often used as an ornamental. Fruits can be a valuable food for wildlife, but diversity of wildlife is much less in thick stands. It grow well in meadows, pastures, and along waterways. Reproduction is from seed and rootstock. Russian olive is very difficult to control. Thick stands can develop if left unchecked.

Description: Russian olive trees grow up to 25 feet in height. From a distance they have a light gray-green appearance due to tiny scales on the leaf surfaces. The trunk and branches have many one to two-inch thorns. Leaves are narrow and two to three inches in length. Inconspicuous, yellow flowers are found in clusters which later produce tan or silver colored, olive-like fruits about one-half inch in length.

Control: Bio-control is not available. Herbicides can offer fair to good control when applied in late summer through early fall. Contact your local state or county weed specialist for specific updated information.