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Seaberries (Sea Buckthorn) in the Pacific NW?

M.K. Dorje


Joined: Feb 23, 2011
Posts: 152
Location: Orgyen
    
    1
About eight years ago, my girlfriend and I planted several Seaberry plants at both her place and my place. We both live in western Oregon, zone 8. A few plants died, but several have survived and are between 4 and 7 feet tall now. As far as I can tell, only one male (?) plant has ever flowered at her place, none here. We've never eaten or even seen a single berry after all these years- really frustrating when the Raintree catalog states "always loaded with fruit". Has anyone here who lives in the maritime Pacific Northwest successfully grown these plants? Do only certain cultivars do well here? Do they need a certain mineral (like calcium) or a certain pH? Do they need pruning to form flowers on new growth? Any advice would be appreciated!
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
will be watching this thread as I have a pair of them coming this spring on order..if you have problems there likely they won't do well here either.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Charles Kelm


Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 151
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
I'm interested to know as well. Last year I planted one male and one female which I got locally here in Bellingham, Washington. I added 3 more females of a different variety this month, from Burnt Ridge Nursery. All seem to be leafing up nicely, but I don't know if they will fruit or not yet. There is a guy here in town were who is raising dozens of them from seed (or maybe it was cuttings) for resale.


Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
Kota Dubois


Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Posts: 171
    
    3
They have been used as ornamentals here in Montreal for years and when the birds eat the fruit they spread the seeds everywhere. Several years ago the city spent a fortune removing thousands of them from our landmark mountain park in the middle of the city, where they were out competing all the native under story plants. I'm still conflicted about using them out in my forest.


We cannot change the waves of expansion and contraction, as their scale is beyond human control, but we can learn to surf. Nicole Foss @ The Automatic Earth
Eric Thompson


Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Posts: 258
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
    
    2
Our weather here in the Northwest is just fine for Seaberries. Of course the most important thing is to make sure to have the male and female plant - sounds like you do! Next is to make sure they can pollinate -- an apple tree can pollinate well from 50 feet away, but seaberries would prefer more like 5 ft line of sight, and are wind pollinated: so the optimal arrangement is for a male to be about 5 ft upwind from a female. if you are far from this arrangement, that's the likely problem and you should move a male..
M.K. Dorje


Joined: Feb 23, 2011
Posts: 152
Location: Orgyen
    
    1
Eric Thompson wrote:Our weather here in the Northwest is just fine for Seaberries. Of course the most important thing is to make sure to have the male and female plant - sounds like you do! Next is to make sure they can pollinate -- an apple tree can pollinate well from 50 feet away, but seaberries would prefer more like 5 ft line of sight, and are wind pollinated: so the optimal arrangement is for a male to be about 5 ft upwind from a female. if you are far from this arrangement, that's the likely problem and you should move a male..

Eric, if you have Seaberries of your own, I was wondering if your plants are "loaded with fruit" every year? And if so, how old are your plants? Do you fertilize, prune or mulch them? I'm also perplexed why our plants are not flowering after so many years in the ground. Other fruit bushes we planted around the same time, such as Bush Cherries, Aronia, Currants, Grapes, Gooseberries, etc. have all had nice crops for several years, but not the Seaberries. Are their flowers senstive to frost or heavy rain during the flowering period? (I'm noticing that they leaf out very early.) Am I just not noticing the flowers on them because they are so inconspicuous compared to other plants? Do they require a certain nutrient in their soil such as calcium to make them start flowering? I'm really perplexed and want to find answers from experienced growers before I plant more Seaberry bushes that I currently have in 1 gallon pots. (I don't want to waste any more water, fertilizer and mulch on them if they don't like our soil or climate.) Anyone?
Cj Verde
pollinator

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3237
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
    
  54
I'm planting some this year. This is from my notes:

They are tolerant of salt in the air and soil, but demand full sunlight for good growth and do not tolerate shady conditions near larger trees. They typically grow in dry, sandy areas.

Also, I doubt they need fertilizer because they fix nitrogen.


My project thread
Agriculture collects solar energy two-dimensionally; but silviculture collects it three dimensionally.
Kay Bee


Joined: Oct 10, 2009
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
I'd love to know the answer re: not flowering, too. I had the same issue when I grew seaberry plants from raintree back in NC. 3+ years and no flowers. Never did figure it out before we moved. I had mine in full sun, well mulched and with drip irrigation. Like you, everything else grew well and flowered just fine...

here are some pics that I found of the flowers. small, but they stand out from the regular foliage pretty clearly.

http://seaberry-hippophaerhamnoides.blogspot.com/2011/03/sea-buckthorn-do-i-have-male-of-female.html


"Limitation is the mother of good management", Michael Evanari

Location: Southwestern Oregon (Jackson County), Zone 7
Brad Davies
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Clarkston, MI
    
    8
I'm glad there is a thread going on this. This winter I picked up 100 seaberry seeds and havn't found much info on them. Does anyone know what the growth rate is like? I am considering using a mix of Seaberry, Autumn Olive, and Silver berry as support species in my Fedge.


SE, MI, Zone 5b "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
~Thomas Edison
Rob Meyer


Joined: Nov 14, 2011
Posts: 103
Brad, volume 2 of Edible Forest Gardens says that H. rhamnoides has a medium growth rate, while Eleagnus species have a medium to fast growth rate. Sounds like quite the functional and delicious hedge!!
Brad Davies
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Clarkston, MI
    
    8
Thanks Rob!

I knew I needed to get that book...

Rob Meyer


Joined: Nov 14, 2011
Posts: 103
It's well worth the money, I use it for reference on a almost a daily basis.
J D Horn


Joined: Jan 23, 2012
Posts: 155
    
    2
Looked around and found this Univ of Nevada Reno paper below that describes some of the needs. One discussion said that you can make a tea out of the leaves. Another discussion said the leaves break down very quickly for good compost, so maybe it has a use as a chop and drop.

http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ag/2004/fs0475.pdf

The female plants require pollination from male
plants to produce fruit. The flowers are wind
pollinated and there should be no more that 8
female plants planted for each male plant in the
orchard. The males should be planted upwind from
the females.
Production will be improved by moderate annual
pruning. Long branches should be headed back to
encourage side branching, while crossing branches
should be removed.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
i had a male and female seaberry plant arrive yesterday ..leafed out..they were very small . I can't put them outside yet as we have 20 degree ov ernights here now..so I put them in larger pots with more soil and watered well..but didn't think about their need for lots of sun..they will go into a window right NOW..
M.K. Dorje


Joined: Feb 23, 2011
Posts: 152
Location: Orgyen
    
    1
Thank you to everyone who responded. So far, I've still only positively identified one plant at my girlfriend's place as male, while the other three are still unknown. The ones at my place and the ones I have in pots aren't showing any flowers, either. I got a huge wound in my hand pruning these damned plants this weekend- those thorns are NASTY! So, if they don't fruit this year, out they go. I find it interesting that not one person on this forum has claimed to have grown them to fruition. I also suspect since they are native to Siberia and Tibet, that they must flower so early here in the NW, that it is impossible for them to wind pollinate in our wet, dreary springs. But I will welcome any posts here by anyone in the Northwest who has grown these plants to the fruiting stage and can prove me otherwise.
Charles Kelm


Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 151
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
I will see what mine do this year, but they are not in full sun. I don't really have any area in all of these 5.5 acres which I would consider full sun, since I live in a forest.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Kota Dubois wrote:They have been used as ornamentals here in Montreal for years and when the birds eat the fruit they spread the seeds everywhere. Several years ago the city spent a fortune removing thousands of them from our landmark mountain park in the middle of the city, where they were out competing all the native under story plants. I'm still conflicted about using them out in my forest.

Huh..the prairie farm shelterbelt program is still sending them out, I have a bunch on the way this spring. When I talked with them they assured me it wasn't invasive. Maybe it isn't invasive on the prairies, but now I'm worried. Anyone from western canada had it get away on them and invade native parkland?
Patrick Mann


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 242
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Here's a nice picture of male and female flowers: http://www.s-weeds.net/sidor/tail/0506.html
I have read that it takes 3-4 years for plants to start flowering. I'm definitely seeing male flowers on my plants - no female flowers as yet.


http://thirteenvegetables.wordpress.com
Tom DeCoste


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Mansfield, MA and Seboeis Plantation, ME
    
    2
Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:
Kota Dubois wrote:They have been used as ornamentals here in Montreal for years and when the birds eat the fruit they spread the seeds everywhere. Several years ago the city spent a fortune removing thousands of them from our landmark mountain park in the middle of the city, where they were out competing all the native under story plants. I'm still conflicted about using them out in my forest.

Huh..the prairie farm shelterbelt program is still sending them out, I have a bunch on the way this spring. When I talked with them they assured me it wasn't invasive. Maybe it isn't invasive on the prairies, but now I'm worried. Anyone from western canada had it get away on them and invade native parkland?


The species was not SeaBuckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides), it was common Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula). They have very similar names but are very different plants. I blog about Hippophae Rhamnoides at http://seaberry-hippophaerhamnoides.blogspot.com/ Sea Berries are not invasive by seed or generally any other way. The exception might be certain areas on the coastline of the British Isles where they successfully have been used for erosion control and must be managed to allow for natural diversity. http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/Video-Firm-burns-masses-sea-buckthorn-saltmarsh/story-17862201-detail/story.html


http://seaberry-hippophaerhamnoides.blogspot.com/
Imagine again all this love
painting people in peace and life
And surrender to the dreamer
We hope the moment too to come
and love change all as one
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Actually the program was issuing Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn). It has turned out to be aggressively invasive in many areas of Canada. I suspect this is true in areas of the US as well. This plant was not considered invasive for many years...there is a time lag between a plant's widespread use and scientific recognition of a problem.

The Canadian Botanical Association has categorized it as a 'severe threat to native species and communities' and it has been ranked as the fifteenth most invasive plant of natural habitats in Canada.

invasive 'rogues gallery'
botanical news

It seems to cause most harm in riparian areas.
I pulled mine. Depending on your location I would urge you to as well. There are lots of other great plants to choose from that won't cause as much harm.
Tom DeCoste


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Mansfield, MA and Seboeis Plantation, ME
    
    2
Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: Actually the program was issuing Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn). It has turned out to be aggressively invasive in many areas of Canada. I suspect this is true in areas of the US as well. This plant was not considered invasive for many years...there is a time lag between a plant's widespread use and scientific recognition of a problem.

The Canadian Botanical Association has categorized it as a 'severe threat to native species and communities' and it has been ranked as the fifteenth most invasive plant of natural habitats in Canada.

invasive 'rogues gallery'
botanical news

It seems to cause most harm in riparian areas.
I pulled mine. Depending on your location I would urge you to as well. There are lots of other great plants to choose from that won't cause as much harm.


I have fielded this question before as I was concerned about the invasive reports people had heard of. To date I am of the opinion Sea Buckthorn is not an invasive plant. The articles you reference are faulty and familiar to me. This is a copy of a letter I have sent and am awaiting a response. It was sent to the Canadian Agency which produced the invasive article about sea buckthorn which is quoted in the invasive "rogues gallery" http://www.rdosmaps.bc.ca/min_bylaws/NewAndEvents/Press_Releases/2006/Invasive_shrubs_Herald_Sep20.pdf

The letter:

Hello,
An article by Lisa Scott, Weed Coordinator for the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District - http://www.rdosmaps.bc.ca/min_bylaws/NewAndEvents/Press_Releases/2006/Invasive_shrubs_Herald_Sep20.pdf discusses Sea Buckthorn as invasive. I strongly believe this is a case of mistaken identity. Common or Glossy Buckthorn is often confused with Sea Buckthorn in conversation and sometimes just the "Buckthorn" remains and can result in mismatched descriptions.

In 2008 the Canadian Food Protection Agency published "Invasive Alien Species" and Sea Buckthorn is nowhere determined to be invasive. It is mentioned as "first recorded @1950 and "reported by questionnaire respondents" as a concern in the same year. On Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's web-site http://www.agr.gc.ca I have been unable to find any reference to the concerns of invasiveness Sea Buckthorn or Hippophae Rhamonoides. I do see publications describing positive attributes.

One of the most commonly referenced authors supporting invasive claims, including Lisa Scott, is P.M Catling(1997) in the Botanical Electronic News http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/ben345.html . The Catling's 1997 citation, when reviewed, does not refer to Hippophae Rhamnoides but to Common Buckthorn(Rhamnus Cathartica L. (http://www.invasive.org/proceedings/pdfs/12_232-237.pdf). In fact P.M. Catling in 2002 actually refers to Sea Buckthorn as an "Ancient crop with modern virtues" in "Blossoming Treasures of Modern Diversity"

I hope you will attempt to correct what I believe is an error. I look forward to your review and opinion.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
I am not really understanding the rationale for calling into question the work of the Alberta Native Plants Council and the Canadian Botanical Association. They are groups of excellent, professional botanists and create these rankings after exhaustive deliberation...I am of the opinion that it is highly unlikely that they have made a mistaken identity.

C. Catling, who you mention, has this to say about P. rhamnoides in the 2005 Botanical Electronic News:

" Despite its many virtues, sea buckthorn can be a serious problem. It was apparantly first listed as an invasive in Canada in 1997 (Catling 1997). Now it is regarded by many in Alberta as a potentially very serious problem. One respondent from Calgary writes "it is escaping into the natural environment, not only in Britain but also here on the prairies, and, as a result, is destroying biodiversity vegetation .... ultimately there will be no native fruiting plants to provide winter food for grouse or other wildlife Therefore, as the native plants are displaced, there is no food for birds that depend upon insects .... This is leading to the decline of many bird species .... Here on the prairies, most of the sea buckthorn has escaped to the low lying, moist riparian areas, the richest of all in biodiversity. Where it is now established, it has turned these areas into a monoculture. From a local wildlife point of view, such colonies are now biological deserts .... because it readily spreads by rhizomes, a single seed is able to colonize an area of acres within a few years. Such areas soon become impenetrable thickets. They are so dense that little light reaches the ground, therefore all herbaceous plants disappear. The soil beneath them is now unprotected. During periods of flooding this results in the loss of topsoil, and the silting of waterways, choking insect and fish habitat .... In Calgary we now have dozens of established colonies. Volunteers have been engaged in removing some of them, but most take several years to completely control, because if one section of rhizome is overlooked it readily rejuvenates the colony." Although evidently a major and rapidly increasing problem, it does not appear on the list of the Alberta Invasive Plants Council (2005), but the Alberta Native Plant Council (2000) does list it as invasive with the comment that it "has established extensive monocultural stands on gravel and sandbars along streams." In Alberta it is already established over a relatively extensive area including Calgary, Edmonton and Hinton. According to an invasive plant newsletter in British Columbia "the potential risk to BC natural ecosystems has been brought to the attention of BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and BC Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries." Using the NatureServe ranking system it was 15th. For some general biological information on this species, see Pearson & Rogers (1962)."

...and here are locations of serious invasion, some over an acre in size, in the Calgary area.

Calgary locations reported by Gus Yaki:
1. Sea-Buckthorn+, Hippophae rhamnoides, 1 large stand, over 150 feet in diameter, Weaselhead Natural Area, N of Elbow River, adjacent to Tsuu T'ina lands, GPS location, N50.59.593/W114.09.880. This was removed in early June 2003; cut stumps re-sprouted, removed 2004/05/07. New plants found still emerging in 2009.
2. South Weaselhead Natural Area, N50.59.398/W114.09.693 about 100 feet across. Cut 04Sep03. 1 sideshoot, 2 ft tall, found and pulled 07July04. Have not checked site since.
3. North Glenmore Park. 2 colonies, N50.59.312/W114.08.058; (316/064). Removed May05/year unrecorded; has regenerated.
4. North Glenmore Park, 2 clumps amidst trees to SW of first parking lot #N on S. side of road, E from 37 St SW.
5. Many clumps (ten or more) along S. shore of Glenmore Reservoir, opposite Heritage Park. Some are over an acre in extent.
6. North of Glenmore Landing, along E. side of Glenmore reservoir. N50.58.478/W114.06.034; N50.58.632/W114.05.958;
7. In total, at least 12 colonies between the Glenmore Dam and 50 St SW, growing exponentially annually, so that they are almost meeting. Some are GD50.N51.00.176/W114.05.869; 170/860; 067/600; 044/589; Also on south side of river opposite N51.00.012/W114.05.709;
8. Entire island in Elbow River near W end of Riverdale Drive SW parking lot.
9. Elbow River, Riverdale Park SW. RiPk.N50.00.898/W114.05.574; and 916 49 Av SW.
10. Island in Elbow River just S of southern edge of community of Rideau. StPk.N51.01.351/W114.04.490;
11. Almost all of the W. end of Elbow Isand Park, 4th St SW, ElIs.N51.01.692/W114.04.544; 702/507; 729;440; 681/536;
12. Bearspaw Reservoir, N. of Bow River, N51.06.132/W114.16.238;
13. Carburn Park, S of Eric Harvie Bridge, along Bow River. N50.58.109/W114.01.406; 066/333;
14. Along S. side of Strathcona Dr, leading into the ravine, StRa.N51.02.663/W114.10.590
15. On the south-facing slopes of Nose Hill off 64 Av NW, NH64.N51.06.684/W114.05.160. Cut down 23Jun04, has regenerated; NH64.N51.06.644/W114.05.154. Almost all other sites are along shorelines of the rivers or reservoirs

The species has not been listed as invasive yet with all Canadian government agencies, as it is still being promoted by many branches as an agroforestry plant. Typically, the right hand of our government doesn't know what the left is doing...a frustrating situation I am sure you are also familiar with.

I don't dispute that it is a very useful plant and can provide many benefits. There may very well be areas on the continent where it is not invasive, and your area may very well be one of them. In those instances I don't oppose using and promoting the plant for local use. But please don't make universal claims about the plant for the broader north american audience....it is a serious and growing problem in some environments and needs to be handled responsibly.

ps. that link you gave to the paper on common buckthorn is not Catling 1997. The Catling 1997 paper is:

Catling, P. M. 1997.
The problem of invading alien trees and shrubs: some observations in Ontario and a Canadian checklist. Canadian Field-Naturalist 111: 338-342.

I'm not close to the university or i'd scan it for us...
Cj Verde
pollinator

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3237
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
    
  54
Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: ... "it is escaping into the natural environment, not only in Britain but also here on the prairies, and, as a result, is destroying biodiversity vegetation .... ultimately there will be no native fruiting plants to provide winter food for grouse or other wildlife


I'm jumping in here because this seems like a disingenuous argument for a few reasons. I think Paul has posed the question "native to when?" Since the "noxious" plant itself provides food for wildlife it doesn't seem like a huge problem.

Also, according to wikipedia, "Sea-buckthorn is distributed free of charge to Canadian prairie farmers by PFRA to be used in shelterbelts." The Canadian government seems to be sending mixed messages.
Kota Dubois


Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Posts: 171
    
    3
I had been considering getting sea buckthorn years ago when a local news story said that volunteers where ripping out thousands of invasive "sea buckthorns" from the understory of our beautiful park on Mont Royal here in Montreal. They went on to say that it had been spread there by bird droppings from plants used in landscaping around the city. The description they gave of the plant said it had attractive deep green leaves, dark bark and black berries.

Now this obviously was not a sea buckthorn so I googled buckthorn and came upon the common buckthorn, which fits the description perfectly, is also an introduced species, and has invasive tendencies in the understory. This is a problem that often occurs when we use common names instead of botanical names.

I now have real sea buckthorns in my savanna, where they enjoy the sunshine and I have no fear that they will spread into the surrounding forest. Perhaps on the sunny prairies they could be a problem because they are so very cold hardy, but not here. I have seen windbreaks of them still heavily laden with fruit after a long winter, so I think their use as food by the wildlife is rather limited anyway.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Hi CJ..

Just to clarify a bit...that's not me speaking in the quote, it is someone C. Catling is paraphrasing in his 2005 paper. I should have made that clearer. Whether or not you consider the argument you quoted a problem, if you scan the rest of the quote from that paper I think you will find other issues that are problematic.

I don't really want to rehash the old argument about whether or not invasive introduced species are a problem. I think it's been discussed adequately elsewhere on the forum.

What I do want to do is counter assertions I'm seeing here that sea buckthorn is not invasive. While it is probably not invasive everywhere, clearly there are habitats where it is invasive, and is recognized as such by associations of professional biologists.

This is mostly for the people who Do care about invasive species, as they should have access to the correct information on this and not be misled into altering habitats and landscapes that they love.

Yes, absolutely the Canadian government is sending mixed messages. Yes there has been debate on the forum about whether invasives pose any concern or threat. As an ecologist who has worked for many years on habitat restoration and ecosystem recovery projects, and who has read widely on the issue, it's my personal opinion that introduced invasives pose a very serious threat to global biodiversity, which is compounded by habitat loss and climate change...and that we are well on our way into one of the worst periods of mass extinction in the planet's history.

Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Kota, I checked and you are absolutely correct for Montreal...the problem was with European Buckthorn. I am glad you are able to safely enjoy sea buckthorn, it's a super useful plant.

Out here on the prairies the problem is sea buckthorn.

I'd recommend using the scientific names and learning about invasives in your particular area when considering what plants to use.
Cj Verde
pollinator

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3237
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
    
  54
It's kind of an interesting problem, these invasives. I've planted seaberries and yet I find myself engaged in a battle against Japanese barberry and to a lesser extent, honeysuckle. They share some qualities so I'll have to watch and compare closely.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Hopefully they're fine down in Vermont...it's pretty different from Calgary.

It's the nature of exponential population growth from just a few plants that these things always seem to sneak up on us, fifty years under the radar with no one really noticing a problem and then all of a sudden the place is overrun.
Kota Dubois


Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Posts: 171
    
    3
Thanks for the apple Kari.

I couldn't be more in agreement with you about knowing what plants you're dealing with, how they behave, and to take a long view on the possible consequences of any introduction.

Yes, absolutely the Canadian government is sending mixed messages. Yes there has been debate on the forum about whether invasives pose any concern or threat. As an ecologist who has worked for many years on habitat restoration and ecosystem recovery projects, and who has read widely on the issue, it's my personal opinion that introduced invasives pose a very serious threat to global biodiversity, which is compounded by habitat loss and climate change...and that we are well on our way into one of the worst periods of mass extinction in the planet's history.


Mr. Harper is making sure that there will be no mixed messages in the future. Eliminate the census, defund research, close down arctic research centres and voila even nature will bend to his iron will.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Not me Kota, (i'm stupidly stingy), but congratulations! ( i did think it was a great post) Best not to get me started on canadian politics or i will get myself kicked off the forum
Anthony Anderson


Joined: Oct 08, 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Central Minnesota USA and Paris France
    
  15
I would call the people at One Green World in Oregon - they have customers with tons of experience with these Im sure. Ben Falk at Whole Design Systems in Burlington VT says Sea Buckthorn is one of the best plants on his property and is continually growing more. Ive planted about 30 here in Minnesota and most are doing great - so pooped out though go figure


Growing Paradise on Planet Earth...Why Not? http://www.growparadise.com
Tom DeCoste


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Mansfield, MA and Seboeis Plantation, ME
    
    2
Thanks everyone for the insight and opinions regarding the perceived problem with Hippophae Rhanmoides/Sea Buckthorn. I have found the Canadian Field Naturalist publication with P.M.Catling's work. After reading it I maintain my contention of confusion and/or inadvertent listing of Hippophae Rhamnoides as a "Top of the list" invasive plant. In this case, the Alberta Native Plants Council and the Canadian Botanical Association have got it wrong. I have sent emails asking for their review and comment. So far there has been no response. If there is, I will pass on the opinions they provide.

The issue of the journal should be attached. If that didn't work then the link is http://ia700609.us.archive.org/24/items/canadianfieldn1111997otta/canadianfieldn1111997otta.pdf .

Does Hippophae Rhamnoides deserve to be monitored? Yes. Should it be on a list of the most concerning species, a list that amazingly does not mention Rhamnus cathartica/Common or Glossy Buckthorn (which is mentioned often in the attached article)? No. My opinion as to the future is that Hippophae Rhamnoides will not achieve a reputation of being "weedy". The diocecious nature(separate male and female plant), intolerance of shade, and wind pollination, should prove to be limiting factors.

Are there places in the British Isles where there are control measures in place? Yes. Does this automatically assign anthropomorphic adjectives like invasive or aggressive? No. These have been efforts of limitation not elimination as the benefits of controlled presence outweighs elimination.

I'm looking forward to setting the record proper and I understand the potential for any plant to be very happy in a non-native environment but in regards to the BEN article it is in need of revision.


[Download canadianfieldn1111997otta.pdf] Download

tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3112
Location: woodland, washington
    
  58
to get things back on track, I'm at the very top of the Willamette trough, and I've got a number of seaberries planted. I think my oldest plants have been in the ground for about four years. I've gotten fruit, but never the loaded branches I see in promotional pictures. they're tasty, though, and I'm planning to put in more of them. better familiarity with prevailing winds should help my yields in the future.

it's really easy for me to tell the difference between my males and females. they're all vegetatively propagated selected varieties, though, which could make all the difference.


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Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
The Canadian Botanical Association has categorized Sea Buckthorn as a 'severe threat to native species and communities' and it has been ranked as the fifteenth most invasive plant of natural habitats in Canada. I have included links to these rankings in earlier posts, and listed known locations of serious invasion near Calgary.

I see no basis in Tom's contention that these rankings are due to mistaken identity by the Canadian Botanical Association. The Catling (1997) paper which you have linked to does, in fact, list Sea Buckthorn. Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is correctly listed in the family Eleagnacea, while common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is listed under the Rhamnacea, so the names do not appear next to each other on the list. I am not surprised that the Canadian Botanical Association hasn't responded to the letter.

Regardless, there are spreading acres of the stuff out here that haven't read any of the literature.

Tom, I understand that you are promoting the plant on your blog and sell seeds on Ebay, and I wish you well in your endeavor. But I hope you will refrain from calling into question the findings of our botanists, and the aggressively invasive habit that sea buckthorn can take on in certain environments. It may be an entirely safe and useful plant on your part of the continent, but it is not safe here.

I would advise prospective growers of the plant to check with a local natural history group and with environmental scientists in your local government on the status of the plant in your particular area before going ahead. And, as Tom suggests, to keep an eye on it. For those of you who live where Sea Buckthorn is not invasive, I hope you enjoy its many benefits.
Tom DeCoste


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Mansfield, MA and Seboeis Plantation, ME
    
    2
Wow. I really do find the discussion surrounding the invasive potential of Sea Buckthorn enlightening. Dr. Catling has written me back and I did say I would pass on any responses to my inquiries. If anyone is as interested as I it may be best to switch the discussion to this thread - http://www.permies.com/t/20877/permaculture/Hippophae-Rhamnoides-Sea-Buckthorn In just a moment I will post Dr. Catling's response.
--Tom
M.K. Dorje


Joined: Feb 23, 2011
Posts: 152
Location: Orgyen
    
    1
Thanks Tel! Apparently, since my seaberry plants are unnamed seedlings, they are taking forever to begin flowering, while the named varieties from vegetative propagation begin flowering sooner. The riddle is solved.
But I didn't know they were invasive in Canada, either! Hmmm...
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
It only seems to be a problem in certain parts of canada, M.K. Especially near my home, which is why I got all bothered about it. It might be just fine in oregon, but it wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on it, and ask around.

Tom did some digging and got some more information which is posted on the other thread. It's frustrating how much effort it took to find out more about where the plant is a problem. But it was fun to read some botany papers again.
                              


Joined: Nov 01, 2008
Posts: 12
Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:
Yes there has been debate on the forum about whether invasives pose any concern or threat. As an ecologist who has worked for many years on habitat restoration and ecosystem recovery projects, and who has read widely on the issue, it's my personal opinion that introduced invasives pose a very serious threat to global biodiversity, which is compounded by habitat loss and climate change...and that we are well on our way into one of the worst periods of mass extinction in the planet's history.


I just want to say I really appreciate your perspective Kari. Bring on the information so that we can all make an informed decision!

i would say there hasn't been enough discussion regarding invasive plants. There is a big difference between agricultural weeds and truly invasive plants that threaten native Eco systems. One must consider there location as well. I boarder a sizable wildland area and have seen first hand how invasive one French broom planting by a neighbor has been. In just fifteen years it has spread extensively.

I would like to know if sea buckthorn is potentially invasive on the central coast of California.
Tom DeCoste


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Mansfield, MA and Seboeis Plantation, ME
    
    2
Good Morning
I just took some photos of Male Seabuckthorn flowers early today. Haven't seen any female blossoms yet and am still hopeful. I posted more on my blog Blog


These plants are located in Massachusetts. Are they blooming in the Pacific NW now as well?
Cj Verde
pollinator

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3237
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
    
  54
Sheesh, mine don't even have leaves yet!
 
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subject: Seaberries (Sea Buckthorn) in the Pacific NW?
 
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