DNR Works To Remove Invasive Autumn Olive From Lake Monroe

The Autumn Olive plant causes the soil around it to become infertile, making it difficult for natural species to grow.

autumn olive

Photo: Oak Ridge National Labratory

The Autumn Olive plant is considered an invasive species in Indiana.

Naturalists have begun eradicating an invasive plant species called the Autumn Olive near Lake Monroe they say threatens the livelihood of native plants.

Department of Natural Resources Interpretative Naturalist Jill Vance says its greyish-green leaves with a silvery white hue on the bottom are a bad sign for surrounding plants.

“It out competes it by over shading and over crowding the other plants,” she says. “So it just kinda moves into an area and its kinda like a bully it just kinda pushes the other plants of the way.”

Autumn Olive can produce up to 80 pounds of berries a season that make soils infertile. What is worse, birds spread Autumn Olive’s berries, seeding a much wider area.

‘So we actually remove the plant,” Vance says. “We cut it off close to the ground and remove the brush. And then we treat the stump with an herbicide to try to keep it from resprouting.”

Vance says DNR officials have begun burning some of the plants that have been cleared, but adds the battle against its spread will be all but impossible to win.

  • JimH

    30 years ago I planted 24 of these things I bought from the state. 25 year later I pulled and killed upwards of 20,000. Small plants you can dig up, Larger ones cut down, expose the roots, and dowse with twice normal concentration of roundup – the roots are very susceptible.

    They are nearly indestructible. I left a pile of cut branches and a couple of weeks later saw roots growing down from the branch pile. They thrive in any soil. In shade they bide their time until they can climb on other vegetation and shoot up 16 feet and overwhelm everything.

    If you are totally obsessive you can beat them. But let not one with berries escape your search or you will be looking for hundreds of tiny 1-inchers hiding everywhere within 30 feet.

  • Pingback: Out to Eat! October 20, 2012 | Invasivore.org

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