Planning on a big autumn olive harvest


What do they taste like?



Please tell what they are, a fruit? Why is it called an olive?


The taste is extremely good. A lot like a sour cherry. The yellow ones are sweeter than the reds and flavor is very different.


It’s a fruiting shrub/small tree very similar to Goumi (Goumi = Elaeagnus multiflora, Autumn olive = Elaeagnus umbellata, Russian olive = Elaeagnus angustifolia). The word “olive” is used because Elaeagnus leaves look somewhat similar to those of the true olive (Olea europaea), but botanically they are very different.


Are these bushes selected cultivars? We have plenty of wild ones and this year they are very prolific, the taste is OK but they are mostly skin and large stone with very little pulp.


They are improved types and not wild ones but I cannot say what cultivar.


I have 8 different varieties and so far my favorite are Amber and Delightful (from rolling river nursery). It’s possible that Delightful was mislabeled since one of my yellows from them was a red, so I’m assuming others from the same order might have been mislabeled, but in any case Amber had the largest fruit and Delightful the sweetest and nicest flavor of my reds so far. I really love these fruits :slight_smile:


I believe the yellow in the photos above are Amber, based on the size. It looks like mine and mine is Amber. There aren’t too many yellow cultivars.


It’s unbelievable how large the fruit are! The fruit are several times the size of other autumn olives.


i may have to get one !



Do they easy to root from dormant cuttings?



@39thparallel was working on rooting some that did not root for him last year. I have not personally tried to root them.


my experience is they root easily, at least the ones i have. i got 4 bushes from one just by taking cuttings and sticking in peat / sand. all of them rooted. i have a unnamed cultivar from northwoods nursery.


What time of the year did you root them? Did you control humidity or use a heat mat etc. ? Did you use clonex rooting gel? Were they non dormant cuttings?


they were dormant early spring cuttings. i just started them at a warm window sill with some saran wrap over the pots. once they started to leaf out i gave them some light miracle grow and placed them in the greenhouse in late may. they took off from there. did the same with elderberry and blackberry cuttings i found wild this summer. the key i think is the peat/ sand mix. never used rooting hormone but i scrape the bark on the lower part of the cutting.


I would say they can be relatively easy from cuttings, I’ve gotten 100% success rate before, planting cuttings in spring without any root hormones and keeping them watered. I’ve had failure too if not paying enough attention or just some years are not as conductive to starting cuttings.

I have a larger problem keeping them alive in their future. This is another plant I have started to plant on south sides of hills as my stand of them was on a northside of a hill, and they all suffered dieback. Maybe winter dieback if cultivars aren’t as hardy or canker problems. Oddly enough haven’t had much luck with autumn olives.


funny how i get dieback on autumn olive but none on my goumi planted next to it. AO is supposed to be zone 3 hardy , goumi zone 4 marginally. goumi also produced sooner than AO.


Love the late bushes! I’m eating them today in November after everything else is done!


beautiful are they fully ripe now?


Yes most are and they were delicious today!