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Weed Bulletin Edition 5 African Olive


mpicklesTue, 10/11/2015 - 12:47pm


Edition 7 - African Olive

Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata


African Olive is flowering and setting fruit now.

A native of eastern Africa, African Olive is very tough and adaptable to dry conditions.

African Olive is a tropical wild olive related to the edible European olive, however the small fruit is not edible and has no commercial value.

Originally introduced in the 1800's as a hedging plant and as rootstock for edible European olives, African olive has become a serious weed in Australian bushland.



Though widespread and well established from the Hunter region down to southern Sydney, African Olive is currently still considered a "new and emerging weed" here in the Great Lakes area. As such, control efforts are considered crucial at this time in order to create a northern containment line.

The Hunter Local Land Service has been successful in obtaining grant funding from the Australian government’s National Landcare Program (NLP) and the NSW Governments Catchment Action NSW program (CANSW) to assist with the Manning Great Lakes Strategic Weeds Program. The funding supports local government and landholders who are impacted by priority strategic weeds.

In the Great Lakes area, African Olive control will be focussed in Karuah, Stroud and particularly in Hawks Nest. Funds will go toward removal, replacement and community education.



To control African Olive, it is best to hand-pull seedlings, and either "scrape and paint" or "cut and paint" larger plants.

To scrape and paint first collect any berries from the plant and dispose of them in the red bin.
Then, using a sharp knife, scrape the top layer of the bark away, exposing the green stem below. This should be done along the stem, as far down the root and up the main stem as possible, as shown in the illustration.
Herbicide should then be applied to the exposed vascular tissue as quickly as possible, to ensure absorption.

To cut and paint simply cut the plant off at ground level and paint the exposed stump with neat herbicide.

For control of large trees please contact your local weeds officer for advice as trees roots will sucker if not treated adequately.

Illustration: Helen Kemp




"Plant Me Instead"

There are many options for bushland friendly alternatives to African Olive, both native and non-native trees. Shown below are three attractive native trees, beneficial to wildlife and the local environment and excellent substitutes for African Olive.

Click on the botanical names for more information.


Ceratopetalum gummiferum Native Christmas Bush

Eleocarpus reticulatus Blueberry Ash

Melaleuca armillaris
Bracelet Honey Myrtle

comment(s): 1


Thanks Maria for organising wonderful events like the one with Great Lakes senior ecologist Matt Bell and for these great reminders about weed control and what to plant in their place.
With value for your ongoing efforts and achievements

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