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Russian olive

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Backwoods Savage, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Has anyone ever burned any of this junk? If so, what is it like?

    I can hardly believe how invasive this stuff has been over the last 20 years in our area. One of the worst things about the month of May is when these things blossom. Terrible stink and it gives me a headache. It also grows super fast and the only advantage I can see is that it creates good cover for wildlife. I'm not even sure any birds or animals will even eat the fruit.
    NortheastAl likes this.

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  2. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Aren't there a lot of volatiles in that stuff? Bet it would burn dirty and black. Only basing that on my experience in wildland firefighting, but we hated when a fire got into Russian Olive.
  3. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've seen deer eat a little bit of it, tender new growth shoots in the Summer.
    Years ago if you cleared a lot here you'd get first growth of feline willow. The russian olive gets it's feet in first now.
    I've never seen birds eating the berries.
    My father bought some to plant (for the birds) . Got some firewood out of because it's the first thing I got rid of at his house when he passed, it but it got mixed in so I have no idea how it burns.
    I had to take the stumps out with a backhoe because it kept growing right back.
  4. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Our entire town stinks of these things from the second week in May until the end of the month. Didn't know what caused that putrid smell until my wife found out this year that they were Russian Olive.
  5. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    I got a bunch of Russian Olive, split, dried and burned it. Sorry to say, it was quite unimpressive. I think that willow is even better.
  6. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    That even makes it more useless. Why can't oak, hickory and locust be invasive?
    Gark likes this.
  7. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Locust is an invasive too. It just happens to have some very redeeming qualities.
  8. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Ive got locust sapplings everywhere on my woodpile. It happens to be under a line of locust trees. And believe you me when i tell you that they grow fast.
  9. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    You're right. I forgot about the ones that sprout from the roots of my honey locust.
  10. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Wow - just googled it and those look like the grand daddy of Autumn Olive with a bad smell. None around here that I can think of but the Autumn olive is like a weed and grows everywhere. Fortunately it at least has fruit for the critters and doesn't stink but it sure would be nice if it grew bigger and had high BTU's
  11. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I have that crap all over here! Very invasive and grows fast! Impossible to stop as it travels underground..

    Ray
  12. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Be careful what you wish for. Anything that is as invasive as these are is definitely a major problem. Every year they take over more area. The stink is so bad you can't hide from it for those two weeks in May. It is literally everywhere around here. If it ever cross breeds with your Autumn Olive, you may be in for a battle.
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It is
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    For sure those roots can travel underground a long, long ways and they also grow really fast. Last year we found a new one in one of our gardens. It was not there in June but when we found it in August it was about half the size of my wrist. We dug down about 6" to the root and the root went both left and right so I expect we'll continue to find new crap all over.

    Gark told me about what I expected for the burning qualities of it and Sprinter really tells of bad things. I'll keep on cutting it year after year.
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Here the roots are an orange color and between that and vines it's a real PIA! I can't keep up with it..

    Ray
  16. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Can someone post a picture of it for ID?
  17. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Dennis, why don't you cut some up and burn it in an outdoor pile and see how it goes.

    Be sure nobody is downwind, though;)
  18. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I have burned Russian Olive (and also Autumn Olive, which is very similar) and they are mediocre firewood. Nothing especially objectionably about it, but it is light and burns fast.
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps I shall remember the camera and get some pictures.


    Sprinter, I did cut a bush very near a brush pile so I will be burning it one of these days. Probably will pile a lot more on before I burn though. Might even wait until winter as that is when we normally burn the brush piles.
  20. DMZX

    DMZX Member

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    My experience as well. It crowns out vigorously when the fuel moisture in the foliage is low, such as mid-summer conditions. And the burning leaves are carried as big embers far down range setting spot fires. It turns what should be relatively safe riparian areas into potential death traps.

    Fish and Feathers once had a dozer pile and fall burn program with the idea to eradicate it wetland reserves. I think the greenies pitched a fit and they shut it down.

    Here is a handpile and burn op in Russian Olive:

    [​IMG]
    ScotO and raybonz like this.
  21. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Must have been fun (I loved doing burnouts and controlled burns). Hell, I loved it all actually. You may not have been too far from us. We were near Kennewick. That kind of growth is was typical of what we had, too. I doubt that it could have been successfully eradicated long term anyway.

    Dennis, you may find that the dirtiest smoke and noxious odor comes from the foliage. The trunk wood may actually be okay, I don't know. I couldn't find any btu info on it at all.
  22. Buckeye 2012

    Buckeye 2012 New Member

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    Autumn Olive was brought here to grow in mine reclamation areas to introduce nitrogen to the soil. Eastern Ohio is covered with this stuff. A real mess around here.
  23. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Took pictures this morning. Some really short yet and some larger bushes. One picture shows more what the wood will look like as it ages. I have found one not far from us that is about 18" diameter (if my memory is right). Up till then I thought it was only a bush. These are just past blossom stage, thank God. Stink to high Heaven.

    I've looked on the Internet for pictures and do not see much difference between the Russian and Autumn. I thought they were Autumn but was corrected. Will someone else correct me? These get a real bright red berry but not the same shade of red I find on the Internet. Also not as numerous but that might be because of our poor ground. I also still have to see a bird or animal eat the berries nor have I seen a deer eat a leaf but it is said these are good for wildlife. The only good I can see is for cover and for that, these things shine as you can tell especially by the first picture.


    101_0001.JPG 101_0002.JPG 101_0003.JPG 101_0004.JPG 101_0005.JPG 101_0006.JPG
    raybonz likes this.
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for posting the photos.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  25. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Yup loads of that crap taking over here!

    Ray
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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