Russian Olive

russian oliveRussian olive is a member of the Oleaster family. A hardy,fast-growing tree introduced from Europe, Russian olive has beenpromoted for windrow and ornamental plantings.

This tree may reach heights from 10 to 25 feet. The trunks andbranches are armed with 1 to 2 inch woody thorns. The leaves are coveredwith small scales which give the foliage a distinctive silveryappearance. The fruit is berry-like, and is silvery when first formedbut turns brown at maturity.

According to Weber and Wittmann in Colorado Flora: Western Slope,"This tree is rapidly replacing native riparian species and eliminatingvaluable nesting sites for birds. It should be eliminated wheneverpossible."