I've got a wild olive tree in my yard. I believe it is a https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaeagnus_angustifolia . I absolutely love it and it is the main feature of the yard.

The thing is, after about 7-8 years, it seems to want to reproduce. A lot. New trees are spawning around its root. At first, I cut them.

Seeing this would not stop, I tried letting a new one grow, hoping it would stop it from growing new ones. It didn't. See below for picture of the tree, the bunch I let grow and the multiple new ones.

I would like to keep the large one I've got. I don't mind having another one grow. I would like it to stop trying to grow new trees. How should I go about it ?

Location is Montreal, Qc, Canada, if it makes any difference.

Lovely wild olive tree

The ones I let grow

How do I stop these

  • 1
    You might want to get the tree checked over by an arborist - excessive production of suckers such as you're seeing can sometimes be caused by the main tree having a problem.
    – Bamboo
    Sep 6, 2019 at 19:47
  • This tree is known as invasive all across Canada and in many states in the US. Perhaps not the best choice for your backyard....treecanada.ca/resources/trees-of-canada/…
    – kevinskio
    Sep 6, 2019 at 21:15
  • :puzzled: Should I have expected the local nursery (right word? pépinière) to know it being invasive and not offer it for sale?
    – Jeffrey
    Sep 6, 2019 at 21:19
  • @Jeffrey - no, this shrub is widely sold in Ontario too without warnings. It is an excellent shrub where it can be allowed to grow undisturbed, in yards and hedgerows and shelterbelts. This case is special in that mature roots were cut. Sep 8, 2019 at 15:28
  • I suspect that your neighbour may be cutting the suckers or even roots. Not much you can do about that. They may even be trying to poison it. Perhaps you should remove the tree. yesterday

2 Answers 2


Russian olive has a defence mechanism which automatically sends up shoots when the root is interfered with. Your tree is next to a fence, and if this is a lot line then likely the roots have spread to your neighbour's property, where the neighbour has other ideas for what grows in that yard. There is a huge sprout right by the fence line as if it had a major root cut there. Sprouts will also be growing on the other side of the fence, probably much to the annoyance of whoever is gardening there.

Since the number of shoots is not too many probably the simplest thing is to use a pair of sharp secateurs to cut them at ground level. It will be a continuing job until the tree rebalances its top and bottom growth.

Much as you enjoy the tree, one could argue that given the confined space it might just be the wrong species in that location. Time for a talk with the neighbour?


Trim the suckers or shoots as close to ground and tree trunk as you can. This is a regular job. Especially in spring and summer.

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