Don’t Grow an Invasive Russian Olive Tree in Your Yard

Gardeners may like the Russian olive tree (Elaeagnus angustifolia)'s silvery leaves and drought tolerance, but this invasive species poses risks. There are compelling reasons to avoid planting a Russian olive tree in your yard:  

Russian olive trees grow quickly and spread, competing with native plants and harming ecosystems. Their rapid growth can crowd and shade native species, reducing biodiversity.  

1. Aggressive Growth

Russian olive trees are invasive in many areas because they outcompete native plants, change soil composition, and disrupt natural habitats. They can also invade drainage systems and streams with their invasive root systems.  

2. Invasive Behavior

Planting Russian olive trees may unwittingly harm the ecology and natural fauna. These trees can change soil moisture, diminish biodiversity, and create pest- and disease-prone monocultures.  

3. Environmental Impact

Russian olive trees generate many seeds that birds and wildlife disseminate, making control difficult. This seed dissemination method makes the species invasive.  

4. Seed Dispersal

Once established, Russian olive trees need lots of water despite their drought resilience. Water-wise and non-invasive species are better for the ecosystem in water-conservation regions.  

5. Water Consumption

Due to rapid growth, thorny branches, and invasiveness, mature Russian olive trees are laborious and expensive to manage. Controlling their proliferation and reducing their influence on ecosystems may take time.  

6. Maintenance Challenges

Consider native trees that support local species and ecosystems instead of Russian olive trees. Native trees and bushes promote ecological balance by housing beneficial insects, birds, and other species.  

7. Native Alternatives

Also See

Top 8 Colorful Coleus Varieties to Grow