volunteer shrub in back yard

gorlash(9 (Fremont, CA))December 8, 2012

I have had several of these shrubs appear in my front and back yard, planted by passing creatures. None of my searches for California invasives, has turned up anything close!

It grows very slowly, takes about three years to get to 2-3 foot height. It is *extremely* hardy, rarely gets gnawed on by bugs, is not deterred by other plants growing around it. Seems to love direct sun.

Does anyone recognize it?

main stem and branches

one branch, close up

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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Looks like Olea europea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Olea europea

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:09PM
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gorlash(9 (Fremont, CA))

oh... my... god...
It's an Olive tree... traditional, European olive tree...
Olea europea sounds so innocent!

That explains why I haven't seen them blossom yet; none of them are even *close* to maturity... not even close to burying our yard in endless olives...

Thank you for the warning!!

Interesting side note...
Cal-IPC (Invasive Plant Council) actually lists this plant as a potential invasive species (Limited rating), due to tendency to spread into wild areas in California. I guess I can confirm that tendency, considering how many of them have been naturally planted in our yards!

This post was edited by gorlash on Sun, Dec 9, 12 at 9:55

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I thought of that but didn't think it was the same. You can check by comparing with known olives in the vicinity. Otherwise I wonder if it is a native or naturalized shrub that came in from undeveloped land nearby somewhere.

If there is any.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:59PM
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gorlash(9 (Fremont, CA))

There's a very old olive tree, a couple of doors down; it grows about 30 feet tall, and is exceedingly prolific with its fruit; our neighbor has wanted to remove it for years, but it's on the property line, and the other owner who shares the line refused to pay to take it out. Given all the jays, crows and squirrels that we have around here, it's likely that this tree is the parent of all these new plants.

I was thinking of letting one of the back yard plants grow for awhile, because it's very pretty until it starts seeding. However, Cal-IPC and others warn about copious resprouting, and difficulty eliminating the plant once and for all, so I just took them all down now...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Online photos show some young olive plants with the same features as yours had, including shoots with the same surface texturing and angles.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:31PM
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