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#1 Your Letters

Your Letters

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:38 PM


I attended one of your workshops a year ago and kept all your contact information. I remember you saying that we could email you pics of trees/bushes for identification and suggestions for trimming (which is exactly what I need!).

The attached pictures are from a tree/bush that grows next to our neighborhood pond (which is really low in the picture) on my neighbors side. They state they didn't plant it and I've lived here for 6 years and have watched it grow out of control without knowing what to do with it. I have no problem cutting it down, way back, or trying to find a way to trim it so that it grows beautifully.

Do you have any ideas/suggestions? It does have some long pickers on it on some growth, perhaps it's a hawthorn of types? Again, no clue.

Thanks for any help!!!





#2 Dsmith74


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

That's no hawthorne. That an (expletive deleted) autumn olive (Eleagnus umbellatum). What you see there is what you get for the most part as far as form is concerned. They are also extremely invasive. I'd cut it down. Frequently.

#3 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

Poor Autumn olive. For decades they were grown at nurseries specifically to be distributed and planted. Soil conservation offices and wildlife management departments included them in packages of sapling trees and shrubs to be planted for naturalizing. THEN we realized just how invasive they are, spreading seed everywhere and crowding out so many other plants with their grow-anywhere tolerance....

#4 Dsmith74


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:24 PM

That's how we got 'em. Great grandpa got them from some conservation organization back in the late sixties. He planted 4 rows of them in two separate spots around his 80 acres. Now they're everywhere. By "everywhere" I don't mean everywhere on the 80 acres, but everywhere in the area for a mile or more in every direction.


This mess is a mixture of sassafrass trees and autumn olive. The foreground is stump regrowth from an area cleared the year before. 

STA_2268.jpg .


Here's a pic from the same general location after I cleared a bunch of it. All of the silver-blue understory is autumn olive, as are the stumps in the foreground resprouting. You can also see one out in the field just to the right of the end of the line of sassafras trees, as well as along the forest edge at the top of the picture (they are actually comparatively thin along that edge, since that is the north side in the shade and the birds don't tend to congregate there after eating the berries). 



But that's not the end of the story. Below is a pic of an area cleared in 2005. This was taken in August '08. Every year after clearing it I cut it back to the ground with a brush mower. This is a few months of growth, three years after it was cleared. 



It does eventually slow down. Below is October of '11. Still requires constant mowing, but the grasses do start to fill in and compete with the autumn olives and slow them down. The brush at the right is at the end of its second season. I now maintain that forest as edge habitat by leaving a strip about 20 yards wide, mowing 1/3 of it every year in rotation so there is always year 1, year 2, and year 3 growth. That edge habitat tends to greatly increase biodiversity, even if the basis is largely a non-native monster. 


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