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Class Overview
—Introduction to Watershed Protection


Introduction to
Water Quality Monitoring


Conducting a Watershed Assessment

Restoring Anadromous Fisheries

Introduction to Land Protection

Developing and Managing Trails
on Protected Lands


Managing Protected Lands
Vernal Pools and Invasive Species


Field Assessment of the Wolf Hill Property
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Coastal Resources Management Council»

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Rhode Island Rivers Council»

Rhode Island Department of Transportation»

Rhode Island Department of Health»

University of Rhode Island»
Non-Government Agencies
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The Nature Conservancy»

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Conservation Law Foundation»

Save The Bay»

Watershed Councils»
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Invasive Plant Species on the Wolf Hill Property
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus Umbellata)
Oleaster family (Elaeagnaceae)


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Key Characteristics
  • Deciduous shrub growing to 20’ H.
  • Alternate leaves are green above, silvery below, creating a shimmering effect on windy days.
  • Branching pattern often gives specimen a “tilted” appearance.
  • Fragrant, tubular flowers in spring followed by a red juicy berry appearing sprinkled with silver glitter.

Habit
  • Deciduous shrub or small tree that can grow to 20’ in height

Leaves
  • alternate, lance-shaped, entire
  • dark green above and silver-white scaled below, creating a two toned effect and causing the shrub to “shimmer” on windy days

Bark
  • Grayish-tan
  • New growth often dotted with light yellow resin dots
  • Remnant spur branches look like thorns

Flowers
  • May-June
  • small, tubular, extremely fragrant, light yellow flowers are borne along twigs after the leaves appear, early in the growing season

Fruit
  • Small, round, juicy fruits are reddish to pink, dotted with silvery scales and produced in great quantity

Habitat
  • Autumn olive has nitrogen-fixing root nodules, which allow it to thrive in poor soils.
  • Typical habitats are
    • disturbed areas
    • roadsides
    • pastures
    • fields in a wide range of soils
    • It also may invade grasslands, wildlife clearings, timber clearings, and sparse woodlands but does not thrive in densely forested situations.

Similar Species
  • Autumn olive is easily confused with Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), which does not appear to be invasive in much of the northeast. Russian olive has elliptic to lance-shaped leaves that are silvery on both sides; its branches are usually thorny, and its fruit is yellow, dry and mealy.
  • It can also be confused with many of the native willows whose leaves are dark green on the upper leaf surface and whitish beneath. However, most of the shrub or tree-like willows (Salix spp.) have toothed leaves or at least some fringing along the leaf margins.
  • Additionally the reproductive structure of willows is a catkin, quite unlike the tubular flower and red juicy fruit of Autumn olive.