View Full Version : Ivy climbing trees

LB Landscaping
11-26-2002, 06:06 PM
I have a customer that lives on a very large lot with a few trees scattered here and there. He noticed some sort of Ivy is climbing up the trees and wants to know if it will harm them. Should he be concerned?

11-26-2002, 10:28 PM
I have a customer that has some English Ivy as a ground cover, and he does not want the Ivy to grow on the bark, he says it will kill the tree. I do what he wants because he is the customer, but personally I like the look of Ivy growing up a tree, just keep it from growing too high, or it will get out of control. I did not ask this guy why it would harm the tree. I know that Ivy will cling to the bark and it cannot be pulled off without taking some bark with it. I do know that ivy growing on brick is not good because the little "feet" get into the mortar and weakens it. I can not answer your question. I am asking this question with you.

11-26-2002, 11:05 PM
In theory the English Ivy will grow straight up the tree and not girdle it so the tree should not be in immediate danger. Now the other part of that reality is if the Ivy grows enough vines up the tree and they get to be thick and very woody, they could possibly prevent the tree from expanding (girdling) so probably a course of moderation is the best.

11-27-2002, 06:58 AM
English Ivy will kill trees by smothering out light, providing great habitat for insects and critters, and holding moisture against the tree. It is a very big problem where I am. The added weight breaks the weakened trees in storms as well.
I have a lot of pictures of this because we are able to use this as a reason to prune in wetland areas where they would not let us otherwise. English Ivy is known here as a non-native invasive species that displaces native plants by smothering them out.

11-27-2002, 02:49 PM
I agree with AGLA that English Ivy should not be allowed to run in woodland areas where it will suppress all native plants creating an 'ivy desert' with no bio-diversity. Many think of ivy as a low-maintenance ground cover when in reality it becomes high maintenance problem when allowed to roam.
The other question is what type of ivy does the customer actually have? Some have Poison Ivy growing up into their trees and don't even realize what it is. It should be totally removed and killed since some people are hyper-sensitive and have terrible allergic reactions with even the slightest exposure to it.
Other vining plants that climb by wrapping around and around the trunk will, indeed, kill the tree.

LB Landscaping
11-27-2002, 08:01 PM
Thanks, I'm not sure what kind of Ivy it is but I figured it wouldn't be good for the tree. I'll suggesst to him that it gets cut back on a regular basis.

11-28-2002, 12:46 AM
AGLA- but will the English Ivy harm the tree if only allowed to grow, say, 5 feet up the trunk, and kept cut at that height, but allowed it to get thicker?

11-28-2002, 08:40 AM
The dying and dead trees that I see are ones that have growth right up into the canopy. I do see some people maintain the growth lower and I can not say that I have seen damage.

I am not against its use when it is maintained.

12-01-2002, 09:26 PM
NO GOOD !!! English Ivy will also suck the moisture out of the tree through its bark... Cut it down off of the tree.. if its' really up there in the tree try this... cut about a 6" section out of the ivy and wait untill spring , when doing the spring cleanup you should be able to just tug on it and it will come down out of the tree.. I did this a few times and it has worked for me...