Secondary Invasion and Reinvasion after Russian-Olive Removal and Revegetation


Erin K. Espeland, Jennifer M. Muscha, Joseph Scianna, Robert Kilian, Natalie M. West, and Mark K. Petersen. Invasive Plant Science and Management October-December 2017 Vol. 10, No0. 4: 340-349.

Cut-stump application of triclopyr provided 96% control of Russian olive the year following treatment.  Seeded native species did not have trouble establishing once adequate spring moisture occurred in the second growing season after Russian-olive removal, indicating that removal did not present substantial obstacles to successful revegetation. Follow-up control of Russian-olive is critical after initial treatment. [ READ FULL ABSTRACT. ]

Plains Cottonwood’s Last Stand: Can It Survive Invasion of Russian Olive onto the Milk River, Montana Floodplain?

Pearce and Smith. 2001. Environmental Management Vol. 28, No. 5, pp. 623–637

The eventual replacement of native plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides) forests by Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) is a serious threat to biodiversity on floodplains in western North America. Low palatability  of Russian olive saplings and trees, easily dispersed seed, and three-year seed viability give Russian olive a competitive advantage over native woody riparian plants. Read entire article here.

Revegetation 4 Years After Russian Olive Removal Along the Yellowstone River in Eastern Montana

By: J. M. Muscha, M. K. Petersen,   R. W. Kilian, J. D. Scianna, and E. K. Espeland


Many riparian areas along the Yellowstone River and other rivers in the West have converted to dense Russian olive stands, reducing agricultural and ecological value of these lands.  A study was initiated in 2010 along the Yellowstone River in Montana to determine if restoration was necessary following Russian olive removal, and then establish the effectiveness of four restoration strategies.  Results of the study after four years indicate that herbaceous seeding with planted shrubs had the lowest cover of invasive annual grass.  Native species are continuing to establish at the site, and seeded herbaceous species cover is continuing to increase over time. 


Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) Biology and Ecology and its Potential to Invade Northern North American Riparian Ecosystems

by Liana K. D. Collette and Jason Pither

Russian-olive is a small tree or large multistemmed shrub that was introduced to Canada and the United States from Eurasia in the early 1900s. It was provisioned in large numbers during the last century to prairie farmers as a shelterbelt plant and remains a popular and widely available ornamental. Now invasive within some riparian ecosystems in the western United States, Russian-olive has been declared noxious in the states of Colorado and New Mexico. With traits including high shade tolerance and a symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, Russian-olive has the potential to dominate riparian vegetation and thus radically transform riparian ecosystems. Especially alarming is its capacity to influence nutrient dynamics within aquatic food webs. Our objective is to draw attention to Russian-olive as a potential threat to riparian ecosystems within Canada, especially in the southwest, where invasion is becoming commonplace. We review what is known about its biology and about the threats it poses to native organisms and ecosystems, and we summarize management and control efforts that are currently underway. We conclude by proposing a research agenda aimed at clarifying whether and how Russian-olive poses a threat to riparian ecosystems within western Canada.

Article Citation:

Liana K. D. Collette and Jason Pither (2015) Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) Biology and Ecology and its Potential to Invade Northern North American Riparian Ecosystems. Invasive Plant Science and Management: January-March 2015, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 1-14.


Video highlights Russian olive and saltcedar impacts on North Platte River in southeast Wyoming

Video highlights Russian olive and saltcedar impacts on North Platte River in southeast Wyoming

River of Time is a 34-minute video highlighting the origin, history, and importance of the North Platte River in southeast Wyoming. The video discusses the introduction, impact and management of Russian olive and saltcedar on watershed values, agriculture, recreation and traditional lifestyles in the region.

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Russian olive symposium highlights current research

Russian olive symposium highlights current research

Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), a Eurasian tree introduced as an ornamental plant in North America has invaded riparian areas throughout the western U.S. Current research on the biology, ecology, impacts and control (biological, mechanical, and chemical) of this species was presented at the Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Council Conference in Spokane, WA in February, 2014.

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