Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Autumn Olive with white flowers
Autumn Olive © Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

Autumn Olive

About Autumn Olive

A deciduous shrub with white flowers in spring and bright red berries in fall, autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) originally came from Asia and was widely planted in the U.S. for wildlife food and erosion control. It can grow up to 15 feet high.

The Problem

It invades field and field edges and spreads easily. Plus, autumn olive’s ability to fix nitrogen helps it out-compete and displace native species.

The Solution

Seedlings and small saplings may be hand pulled, cut, or mowed. Larger plants may be controlled with a systemic herbicide. For small numbers of mature plants, cutting followed by painting of freshly cut stumps with a systemic herbicide is effective. For large numbers of mature plants, treatment with a foliar spray of a systemic herbicide may be more practical. Always read and follow the directions on the label when using herbicide.

Pictures of Autumn Olive

Autumn Olive in bloom
Autumn Olive fruit
Autumn Olive shrub
Autumn Olive infestation in field