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How damaging is English Ivy to trees?

It appears that ivy type plants are, indeed, benefiting from the increased CO2 levels accompanying global warming. We moved into a neighborhood and all the trees have English Ivy over them. I cut some of it at the base but the rest is taking a long time to die and I am wondering if it can live on the tree itself. Where the base has been attacked, it appears to be rotting away. It looks to me like this stuff has to be destroyed or we will lose all of our trees. Any ideas?


  1. We have the same problem. Last summer I cut it all at the base and its all dead now. But we have two small trees it has killed. It does not feed off them but it strangled them. You can see where the trees have tried to grow thicker but the ivy has put grooves in the trees. I have now pulled all the ivy down and will keep an eye on it from now on. It all just pulled off no problem.
  2. Hi: I am a landscaper and designer. I have had to deal with this problem with some of my clients. Ivy can take over a tree and yes, it can choke and kill it. My crew and I will remove the ivy by first cutting away the roots from the trunk and around the tree. You can go to your area nursery, garden center or chain store and purchase a specific ivy chemical killer. Brands vary in different geographic locations. It will take awhile for the ivy to die out. It will first die at the base and over the next few weeks, you will begin to see it die on branches. Ivy can be a nice ground cover accent but all too often it will take over trees around it. There are a lot of other varieties of ground covers to consider. I hope this has helped some and good luck to you removing your ivy. I will link you to the site map of my website. There are a variety of articles, tips, and techniques that might be helpful to you. Good luck. I will also link you to the simple solutions section as there is a page on planting around a tree. There is a photo of ivy all over a tree that you might be able to relate to. Have a great day! Kimberly http://www.landscape-solutions-for-you.com/Site.html http://www.landscape-solutions-for-you.com/Solutions.html
  3. e-mail rrowe@tnc.org or call The Nature Conservancy's central Florida office at (863) 635-7506. This group can help or put you in touch with the expert in your area. There is usually no charge. I emailed her and she called me back immediately. Trish