English Ivy

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A major concern is the impact to trees:

·      Ivy climbs using aerial roots, although not considered a parasitic plant it can cause many problems, even death to trees.

·      Ivy holds moisture against the trunk causing splitting and rotting of the outer bark.

·      Ivy can form a thick blanket of leaves that shade the tree reducing its’ ability to produce food through photosynthesis.

·      Ivy can add enough additional weight to a tree canopy to cause catastrophic failure - the main trunk of the tree can break or the entire tree can fall.


Other environmental factors:

·      Ivy has the ability to out-compete native vegetation, eliminating the biodiversity that our native birds and mammals need to proliferate.

·      Biodiversity has a significant impact to our water quality. Stream buffers require various plants to maintain the integrity at the edge of the stream. Diverse species have a variety of root systems that filter rain and runoff and prevent stream bank erosion.


What you need to know:

·      Ivy is a useful and attractive groundcover when managed appropriately.

·      Property owners are responsible for the health and maintenance of all their trees.

·      Trees fall due to many stressors including high winds, disease, drought, and uneven weight.

·      Critters such as snakes and rats often live in the comfortable shade of a blanket of Ivy.


What you can do:

·      To protect a tree that is becoming enveloped in Ivy, cut the Ivy at the base of the tree and removing a collar of about 36” width around the base of the trunk. 

·      Do not try to remove the ivy from the tree trunk which can damage the bark - when left in place it will die back and shed naturally from the tree.

·      Maintain the open collar regularly to prevent its’ return.

·      Using a glyphosphate-based herbicide will aid in controlling grow-back.

·      Carefully dispose of the debris to prevent resprouting.

·      Do not toss ivy onto the ground in the woods, on your compost pile, or in your garden as it may continue to grow and spread!

·      Wear protective gear, as poison ivy often co-mingles with English Ivy. 

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