Autumn Olive Cures

Our Autumn olives are sick. They are supposed to have a dusky green leaf. The tree pictured below has yellow leaves only on one branch. The other three we have planted are succumbing to the same unknown disease.

These are supposed to be very difficult to kill once established, so I’m at a loss as to how to bring them back. They are even considered invasive in some states.


I’m not exactly sure why that is.

The berries are healthy and high in lycopene, an extremely powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes and other berries and fruits. It grows quickly and spreads easily and, when in full production, one plant can produce several gallons of red and tasty berries that are easy to harvest.

I called in to my favorite podcast to ask what could be done to save these 3-year-old trees. The podcaster came back with a few things to look for and try.

First, check to see if the wood mulch is all the way up to the base of the tree. If it is, pull it back as this can cause rot to the roots and trunk.

Second, try fertilizing with SuperThrive, a non-toxic vitamin solution meant to quickly repair roots.

Third, try fertilizing with Garrett Juice, an organic liquid fertilizer.

I ordered both Garrett Juice and SuperThrive and then trudged out to see if the mulch was touching the base of the tree. It was.

When we pulled it back from every plant in the fedge, we found that some of the tags that the trees shipped with were still attached. The trees had grown thicker so the plastic tags were tight and choking them.

We pulled the mulch back, removed the tags and checked all of the other plants to make sure we hadn’t made the same mistakes.

I had left the tags on until I could make a drawing of the fedge and indicate which plant was where. I removed the tags from some, but apparently not from others. A mistake that affects three years of growth.

A mistake that could have easily been avoided.

I’ve applied the SuperThrive to one and the Garrett Juice to another. They are already starting to perk up, but we have already lost at least one.

Lesson learned.



We have 15 blueberries on this bush that, last year, looked dead.


Blackberry flower



Aronia berries

Aronia berries

The autumn olive was dying
The leaves turned yellow then brown
I didn’t know what to do
I scratched my head with a frown

All the other plants in the hedge
Were blooming and teeming with life
From dusky green to deep hunter
The blossoms and berries were rife

Before trying any approach
I made a call to a friend
Please help me fix these, I asked
How can I make it all end?

He gave me a few ideas
A few things to do to each tree
I quickly ran out to try them
“Please work” was my quiet plea

5 responses to “Autumn Olive Cures

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