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.