Eleagnus umbellata: 12ʼ high x 12ʼ wide / full sun / zone 4
When I bought my property I was lucky enough to discover that it had loads of autumn olive bushes growing wild. They’d been planted along the roadsides by the Ministry of Transportation decades ago as erosion control; the birds ate the berries and spread the seed far and wide. I use the berries to make jam, juice, and fruit leathers. I also devour them off the bush – they’re really delicious. This is a great one for a food forest, as it’s also a nitrogen-fixer. Some conservationists regard it as an invasive, but I don’t; they need full sun to thrive, so you’ll only find them in abandoned fields and well-designed gardens.