This year, in Central Ohio, there was a hefty high temperature period
and then a pretty severe freeze, which caught some large Autumn Olive
bushes in bloom.
As expected, the bloom ended for the year, but unexpectedly there
are no leaves, or maybe a couple dozen on a bush that normally has
thousands, on any of the bushes.
Do freezes at the wrong time kill off Autumn Olive completely?
It seems unlikely it could be, if the species is going to survive.
A couple of the big Autumn Olive bushes are ``native'' in the sense
of having gotten there as weeds ; and a couple are planted from
seedlings. They're all say 15' across and tall, so it's not as if
they're fragile or hadn't seen 20 below winters.
The (slightly related) Buffalo Berry is fine.
Russian Olive doesn't grow at all, except for a month of doing well
as seedlings before 100% dying off, in the clay soil. Autumn Olive
does well enough to establish itself as a nuisance weed, though.
Oh how I wish it was that easy to kill them off. I've tried
digging them out, but if you miss just one little shred of
root they'll be back. They just sneer back when whacked off
flush to the ground with any type of mowing device. The
rabbits can girdle them completely, not the slightest
challenge, suckers push up and they don't miss a beat.
I have spots in our yard that I dug out 5-6 years ago and
get mowed regularly. During the summer drought last year
when I didn't mow for over 3 weeks they still pushed out
suckers that reached about 10 inches in height.
In research done in the past I read that cutting them off
actually invigorates their growth:
"Since burning and cutting stimulate resprouting, herbicide
treatment may be necessary to eradicate large patches. One
method of application is to cut the plant off at the main
stem and paint the herbicide on the stump. Glyphosate is
effective and commonly used. Kurz (pers. comm.) and Nyboer
(pers. comm.) recommended a 10-20% dilution for painting on
stumps. Foliar applications may be adequate for small
patches; the recommended dilution of glyphosate in this case
is a 1-2% solution. Kurz (pers. comm.) stated that the best
time for herbicide application is in late August or
September when the plant is actively translocating materials
to the roots."
This is for Russian Olive, but they can be treated pretty
much the same:
"Once Russian-olive is allowed to become established in
unwanted areas, it is difficult to control and almost
impossible to eradicate because of its habit of forming root
shoots and suckers. Efforts at control have included mowing
of seedlings and sprouts, cutting or girdling of stems,
burning and herbicide application. Perhaps the most
effective method of eliminating a tree is to cut the trunk
or stem and apply an herbicide to the cut surfaces. Repeated
aerial application of 2, 4-D and 2, 4, 5-T have been used in
Nebraska as a means of controlling large trees. Application
of herbicide in this manner may be required over at least a
two year period (Bovey 1965)."
Don't fret Autumn Olives fragility, they are the most
tenacious tree/shrub I know off...
For more info see:
The skillfully timed freeze certainly killed mine off. They don't
look healthy at all, with perhaps a dozen leaves total.
I like them for the fruits, which the birds eat. I'd prefer Russian
Olive, which keeps the fruits through winter, but it won't grow at all
in the Central Ohio clay.
Buffalo Berry thrives, but unfortunately has never produced a fruit.
I must have gotten a dozen males or something.
The most successful for winter fruit have been Washington Hawthorne
and Smooth Sumac. The latter reproduces everywhere, which is handy.
I scythe down what turns up encroaching in the lawn.
I took a closer look at the ones flowering around here right
now. Most of them were completely girdled by rabbits last
winter (it was a hard winter for wabbits). I don't mean just
a little bit around here and there, the rabbits cleaned off
10-12 inches of bark. This was on shrubs that were up to 1
inch in diameter, maybe even larger. They are flowering okay
but these branches/trunks are dead, much like you are
describing. However they have already pushed suckers up from
the roots that are 8-12 inches high.
Have you taken a good look at the base/trunk of your shrubs
for girdling? I would be really, really surprised if they
don't push up new growth regardless of the cause...
They're not girded. Apparently the leaf buds froze and that's that,
I'm told. It may revive or it may not.
I killed off some Black Locust by girdling with a spokeshaver (plane),
and had to repeat it for three years, since the brown stuff grew back,
but apparently most things aren't so resiliant. Even then it kept
growing shoots from below the girdling.
Maybe Autumn Olive, having a reputation as a nuisance, will persist
I'm quite surprised such a hardy plant minded a deep freeze after a
Ya, I saw that post/answer too. Check around their bases,
like I said the girdled ones here already have suckers up
I've got 200-300 more you can pick/choose from. Pretty long
drive though and most likely illegal :)
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