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Autumn Olive

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by highlander, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

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    While I was at the heritage festival last week a lady was selling jellies and jams. One of them she called "wild mountain berry," however after talking to her I found out they were an invasive species from Asia called Autumn Olive. The best I could understand they have tiny sweet and slightly tart red berries.
    Has anyone ever heard of these? I'd like to see some good close up pictures...Google turned up kinda blah on this one.
     
  2. Peck Price

    Peck Price Tracker

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    Try Russian Olive, Autumn Olive may be colloquial as that is what we call them here in Appalachia. They thrive on our reclaimed coal operations.
     
  3. 2Scoops

    2Scoops Supporter Supporter

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    Autumn olive and Russian olive are both shrubby invasives from asia from the genus Eleagnus. We have alot of russian olive here in my area it grows in dense patches along roadsides, etc. I think they were brought here for their ornamental "value" like many other invasives but they are nitrogen fixers.

    I never knew there was a use for them so I guess making jam is one way to benefit from them...
     
  4. DCP

    DCP Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    We have some on my parents property I can get some good pictures Saturday if nobody else had them by then.
     
  5. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    They are magnificent! Tons of them around here. Apparently full of lycopene and they supposedly get sweeter after good cold snap. They make excellent fruit leather too, or stuff them in a yummy squirrel fro cooking. A little bit of acid helps break the meat down.

    This is one I shot and @GreenFrog cooke for a Thom Darrah foraging challenge, which he won:

    [​IMG]IMG_3090 by Chris Scrivens, on Flickr
     
  6. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir Scout

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    There has been some interesting research derived from those efforts showing that not only did the "Elaeagnus umbellata" aka 'Autumn Olive' help hold the soil, it also accelerated the growth of native hardwoods, especially Black Walnuts, probably because of it's nitrogen fixing capabilities.
     
  7. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

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    I suspect I may have some near my house, but I don't want to be picking little red berries at random. Years ago, my grandma told me that anything with red berries is "poison."
     
  8. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    It is the best invasive ever. Most people who try the berry likes it. You can get enormous yields per acre of berries. People are trying to rebrand the plant Autumnberry so it will have a more palatable name for farm purposes. It was used to restore wildlife habitat and for erosion control.

    The bad part: HIGHLY out competes EVERYTHING... except poison ivy lol. This can be used as an advantage if you want to promote shade tolerant species on a site. Each full grown bush can produce around 200,000 tiny fruit/seeds. Burn it and it regrows, best way to control it is to pull it by hand in the spring/early summer.

    I'm very much a plant native species type of arborist but I love autumn olive. It's invasive but can rehab sites... animals love the fruit, people love the fruit, it's quick growing and if you manage it heavily works great as a nitrogen fixer.
     
  9. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  10. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I boil up the berries in water to make a really nice tasting drink. It looks like dish water, but has a nice lemon aid like taste.
     
  11. sons of scotland

    sons of scotland Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    i have over a dozen on my property. i went out yesterday to harvest some and the birds have already picked the trees clean. :mad::17:
     
  12. DCP

    DCP Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Funny you said that the AO on my families property in swarming with poison ivy.

     
  13. Chris eyes wide open

    Chris eyes wide open Scout

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    If you don't mind me asking... From your description and pictures they have elliptical and alternating leaves with the red berries that have the little silver spots on them, but what about the bush/tree itself? Is it a bush, shrub or tree? or is it a vine that grows on the trees/shrubs? I very curious if we have any of these here in Colorado...
     
  14. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    It is a bush/small tree. I think they only get about 15' tall, but are usually around 10' tall (at least in my area).

    As far as its growth goes, it almost reminds me of an apple tree in its branch structure and overall shape.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  15. Chris eyes wide open

    Chris eyes wide open Scout

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    Thanks I was thinking the same about the apple tree from looking at your photos but couldn't quite tell. I will look for them now!!!
     
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  16. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My wife gets them down by the local sand pit and makes jam out of them, it isn't bad.
     
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  17. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    They can be 30' tall... 20 is more common.
     
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  18. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    My good friend started a company that harvests the berry and makes jams, fruit leather, etc. I think we have some of his jam in our fridge right now.
    http://www.autumnberryinspired.com/
     
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  19. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Old picture but here ya go.


    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Bookmarked that baby... if the price isnt too bad that fruit leather would be nice!
     
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  21. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Wow! Your trees are far more prolific than the ones in my area!
     
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  22. TWill

    TWill Guide

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    Those were encouraged to be use for shelter belts and wind breaks up on the northern plains. When they get big and overgrow a spot they are a gnarly mess to try to trim or cut down. I don't recall the ones I have seen having fruit so maybe they are either male or female trees, does anyone know about that?
     
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  23. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    I'll ask my buddy about that.

    This video shows their current harvest process:

     
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  24. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Old Dog Supporter

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  25. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    He says he thinks the fruit isn't specific to male or female plants, and that the flowers are hermaphroditic. In his opinion, it's genetic differences and masting (trees taking a break between fruiting), although some trees fruit well every year.
     
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  26. TWill

    TWill Guide

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    It could be there are several varieties a bit like apples or citrus and some fruit nice and others not so much. The russian olives we have around here have hard little fruit that stay green and are no bigger than a tic tac candy.
     
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  27. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Get me a picture... I dont think you have Autumn or Russian olive. There are a number of plants that people in locals have refered to as "Russian Olive" mistakenly for decades and decades so in those areas it becomes "Russian Olive" even though its not the species we are speaking of (Russian Olive is angustifolia and Autumn is umbellata). People even get Russian and Autumn confused and call both "Russian Olive".
     
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  28. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Here are the fruits when mature:
    [​IMG]

    Notice how silvery Russian Olive is, the stems, the leaves are all like this too. They can be a bit less but here is a typical mature tree form:
    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    It's not specific the flowers are perfect (having both male and female portions on one flower), I've seen the same bushes seed every year and rarely ever a bush that doesn't seed on a good year.


    Ugh, im doing it again... I'm going to get a drink and crawl back in my cave.
     
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  30. TWill

    TWill Guide

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    Yup the one on the left Russian Olive is what is growing along roads and windbreaks here in MN. I don't think I have ever seen Autumn Olive growing here in MN. We might be a zone or two to cold for it.
     
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  31. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Use a little wild or local honey and you've got yourself an amazingly simple and tasty Malomel.. (Mead + Fruit)
     
  32. TheWhiteWoodsman

    TheWhiteWoodsman Scout

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    I work in habitat restoration and AO is one of the Big 3 shrubby invasives along with Honeysuckle and Buckthorn. Can grow in huge bushes up 30 ft tall and 30 ft in diameter or just barely hold on in regularly mowed lawns. WILL take over open spaces if not managed.

    Crush the leaves and give em a sniff for a sweet smell reminiscent of apples. As stated before the berries are a fantastic edible.

    Unfortunately the wood is not good for much as it becomes very brittle once dead (Maybe an application in some sort of trap trigger?). Also has some wicked "thorns" that make gloves a necessity when working with the brush.

    Folks are saying it is a nitrogen fixer which is nice I guess.... but fixing for nitrogen for what? Poison Ivy?

    Can be good habitat but also will make it nearly impossible to pass through parts of the woods for its thickness. On our property we have a stand of red pine that we have let the AO grow up under unchecked. The path around this stand has lots (LOTS) of deer scrapes every year.

    That's all the random tidbits I feel like writing right now.....
     

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