Abolish the Olive


A large Autumn Olive shrub, by Daria Koscinski

Join us at Wardsville Woods on November 21st to clean up Autumn Olive and other invasive shrubbery from the restored butterfly meadow. Please RSVP below to secure your spot!

What is Autumn Olive anyway?

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) was introduced to North America from Asia in the early 1800s. It is a prolific berry producing, nitrogen fixing, hardy, resilient, and fast growing shrub, meaning it has been promoted over the years for a range of uses from landscaping to mine reclamation. Unfortunately these traits have also allowed Autumn Olive to escape its planting locations and spread far and wide into natural areas across the USA and Eastern Canada. It has become very problematic in habitats such as meadows and sparse woodlands, where it aggressively grows and spreads to form dense thickets. Native plants are eventually shaded or crowded out, meaning that insects, birds, and other wildlife no longer have the food and habitat they need and overall biodiversity is reduced.

So, let's abolish the Autumn Olive at Wardsville Woods

Autumn Olive is trying hard to take over the restored butterfly meadows at Wardsville Woods. Fortunately, there's still time to remove them and conserve the meadow community that supports native birds, pollinators, and biodiversity. At this event, we will be hand pulling Autumn Olive seedlings and small plants. For larger plants, we will first remove the berries to prevent seeding, then cut at the base and apply herbicide to the cut stump (herbicide will only be applied by a licensed exterminator). Did you know Autumn Olive berries are edible? Feel free to take some home for eating fresh or making jelly.

What you need to know about this event

  • Due to COVID-19, we will be practicing physical distancing at this event, meaning you should stay at least 2m away from anyway who isn't in your household. Since the event is outdoors, masks are not required, but feel free to wear one if you prefer.
  • There are no washroom facilities at Wardsville Woods, so please plan accordingly. The West Lorne On Route on Highway 401 is probably the closest available washroom. 
  • Hand pulling Autumn Olive requires you to bend or stoop and some level of physical strength to pull the plants out of the ground.
  • This event will take place primarily off-trail in meadow habitat. Although it is later in the year, there is still a chance you could encounter ticks. Be sure to check for ticks before leaving the site and once you get home. More info on ticks is available here.
  • The meadow is also full of seeds and they will stick to your clothing. Smooth materials such as rubber boots and rain jacket/pants will be much easier to keep seed free. Otherwise, be sure to wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.

What to bring

  • Please bring your own work gloves if you can, although TTLT will provide them if needed.
  • Wear appropriate footwear such as hiking shoes/boots, rubber boots, or other sturdy, ideally waterproof shoes. You might encounter uneven and wet terrain.
  • Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, rain gear, warm clothing, bugspray, and anything else you need to be comfortable outside.


If you have any questions, requests, or special needs, please feel free to reach out to us at the contact info below.

November 21, 2020 at 10:00am - 1pm
Wardsville Woods
1632 Longwoods Rd
Wardsville, ON N0L 2N0
Google map and directions
Rebecca Launchbury · · 519-858-3442

Will you come?