Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

Russian olive

Elaeagnus angustifolia


  • Small ornamental tree
  • Small fragrant yellow flowers
  • Silver leaves and black bark
  • Edible silver fruit that resemble olives
  • Small thorns along branches

Introduction and spread

  • Native to central Asia and Eastern Europe
  • It is a popular ornamental tree that gardens have planted and now it had jumped the garden fence
  • Cut stems grow back vigorously
  • Birds and wildlife eat the fruit which allows excellent seed dispersal

Consequences of invasion

  • Russian olive is a very hardy plant, therefor it outcompetes native shrubs and plants
  • Fends off grazing animals with thorns
  • Alters nitrogen in the soil
    Credit: Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes

Status in the CKISS region

  • Russian olive is currently listed as Prevent in Kalso and Nakusp, and as Eradicate for the CKISS Region, Creston, Lower Arrow, Nelson, and Slocan on the CKISS Priority List.
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Integrated pest management options



  • Depending on it’s size the tree can be cut, however this will need to be maintained yearly.
  • Very strong vinegar can be applied over cut stumps to slow growing process.
  • Remove seedling early, make sure all the roots are removed as well


  • No biocontrol currently available in BC.


  • It may be an option and is best after cutting the trunk off at the base. Contact a professional to see if it’s right for you.


Additional resources