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Old 05-16-2017, 03:18 AM
B87
 
Location: Norwich, UK
10,541 posts, read 5,922,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
The guy who owns the company that took down a bunch of pine trees for us in December told me that he sees plenty of dead trees due to ivy. I was shocked at how deeply the vines had embedded themselves in the bark of the tree. Maybe that's how they do their damage?
I'd guess that those trees were already dead or infected with something. Bark is dead and the ivy roots don't penetrate into the tree's circulatory system.

Ivy covers pretty much everything in deciduous forests here. Pine forests have barely any (lots more rhododendrons and ferns).
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:14 AM
 
Location: WA
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I cut the large vines and just pull them off the tree to keep them from reaching for the crown which will affect the tree. Smaller vines I cut and pull when I get a chance but don't consider it critical.

I use vines in my landscape as a cheap low maintenance way to get spreading green cover. Is not that hard to control and once a year or so I cut back and pull up what I don't want.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
16,135 posts, read 11,722,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
The guy who owns the company that took down a bunch of pine trees for us in December told me that he sees plenty of dead trees due to ivy. I was shocked at how deeply the vines had embedded themselves in the bark of the tree. Maybe that's how they do their damage?


Frankly, "the guy who owns the company that took down a bunch of pine trees" for you isn't very brilliant at all.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:12 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
25,889 posts, read 44,696,539 times
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What harms the tree is that it sucks up and competes for nutrients from the soil, and provides cover for pests, and holds moisture against the bark that can lead to premature rotting. It can girdle and kill or weaken individual branches in a few years. That little 1/8" thick vine can be over an inch thick before you know it. It can eventually girdle a main trunk but probably not in our lifetime on a big tree.

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Old 05-16-2017, 08:56 PM
 
3,126 posts, read 1,469,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainroosty View Post

Frankly, "the guy who owns the company that took down a bunch of pine trees" for you isn't very brilliant at all.
Thanks for sharing. Frankly.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:00 PM
 
3,126 posts, read 1,469,909 times
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Here's what the National Park Service has to say about English Ivy's ability to harm trees: "English ivy is a vigorous growing vine that impacts all levels of disturbed and undisturbed forested areas, growing both as a ground cover and a climbing vine. As the ivy climbs in search of increased light, it engulfs and kills branches by blocking light from reaching the host tree’s leaves. Branch dieback proceeds from the lower to upper branches, often leaving the tree with just a small green “broccoli head.” The host tree eventually succumbs entirely from this insidious and steady weakening. In addition, the added weight of the vines makes infested trees much more susceptible to blow-over during high rain and wind events and heavy snowfalls. Trees heavily draped with ivy can be hazardous if near roads, walkways, homes and other peopled areas. On the ground, English ivy forms dense and extensive monocultures that exclude native plants. English ivy also serves as a reservoir for Bacterial Leaf Scorch (Xylella fastidiosa), a plant pathogen that is harmful to elms, oaks, maples and other native plants." https://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/hehe1.htm

I can't see how ivy would not harm trees, as it grows rapidly up the trunk and spreads along branches, preventing the tree from leafing out. Around my town, I see skeletal trees covered in ivy, with leaves either absent or only growing at the very top of the tree.

Thank you to those who have made suggestions for how to get rid of the ivy. It sounds like it will be an ongoing project.
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