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Russian Olive

Russian Olive


Latin Name: Elaeagnus angustifolia


Family: Elaeagnaceae

Native Range: Eurasia

Seed Source: Seed block near Indian Head Saskatchewan.

Height and Spread: 9m x 5m (15 years)

Overview: A fast growing tree that is a nitrogen fixer. It is extremely hardy and adapted to low quality, droughty soils. It prefers well drained soils of medium texture and will tolerate moderately saline soils. Seed can be spread by birds to unwanted locations.

Fruits: A silver coloured dry achene 3 to 6mm long. Fruits remain on shrubs over winter. About 10 seeds per gram.


Stratification: Stratify seeds for 60 days at 5C and 30 days at 20C. 

Ideal sowing time: Stratified seed in late May, non stratified seed in October.

Sowing instructions: Outdoors - sow 2 cm deep. Outdoor seedbed- sow 50 seeds/meter; Greenhouse- sow 3 seeds per cell.

Growing conditions: Does well on a variety of soils, requires full sunlight, does not tolerate shade.

Agroforestry Value

Used for reclamation and wildlife habitat plantings on marginal soils.