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Old 04-06-2015, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,257 posts, read 8,618,901 times
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For vines growing as ground cover, you can mow or scythe it down as close to ground as possible, then cover with landscape fabric or black plastic. It will kill any sod under it also, but you can re-plant that once the problem is under control.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I thank you.
My lilac thanks you.
My oak tree thanks you.



The grape vine, probably not.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:10 AM
 
Location: NC
7,275 posts, read 9,014,712 times
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Ivy on a tree won't kill it! I have a 100 yr old pine with thick heavy ivy.

The only time vines like this "kill" a tree are vines like wild grape which can add so much weight that in an ice storm it brings down a big branch. The only vines I typically remove are poison ivy (you can google it, the old vines have dark brown hairy threads all over), wild grape (stems can get 3 or more inches thick), and sometimes wisteria (gets really heavy, but beautiful purple clusters of flowers).

Don't go crazy unless you simple don't like the look of the ivy, then by all means cut it off at the base. Your tree will be full of dead stems, though, unless you can pull them down.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,048 posts, read 12,849,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
I thank you.
My lilac thanks you.
My oak tree thanks you.



The grape vine, probably not.
You're welcome! Just watch pulling the larger grape vines out of your trees. You could dislodge large dead limbs or even, possibly, damage the tops of your trees. I never had any problems, even with the pickup truck pulling them. But I hate to say 'never'. I did think that our trees were healthier without the vines.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:50 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,742,408 times
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We had a huge oak tree that too was covered in the grown cover vine that we planted around the tree. We had the arborist come in as we became concerned it might damage our tree as it moved up the trunk towards the branches. He said just NOT to let it move into the canopy where it would choke off new growth. Other than that, he said it would not harm the tree at all.

We did just that, never let it grow up beyond the beginning branches and it did not hinder the growth at all. This tree was large enough we would have it "shaped" every 2-3 yrs depending on rainfall ants to keep the canopy spreading out vs just up.

It was money well spent, it provided our entire front yard with a very nice shade.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:08 AM
 
7,161 posts, read 8,778,089 times
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Don't use poison on the vine. Period.

Also, be very careful not to cut into the oak tree. If you do, the oak tree could be very susceptible to oak wilt disease which has been spreading rapidly.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Earth, a nice neighborhood in the Milky Way
2,575 posts, read 1,742,932 times
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^ I think the more you can avoid spreading poisons in your yard, the better.

Of course English Ivy has been classified as an invasive in a great many places, and you may well be right to want to keep it from damaging the tree. Allegedly the ivy growing up the trunk can trap moisture, leading to fungal diseases infecting the tree. Mechanical removal is not all that difficult.

On the other hand, ivy allegedly is an important food source for honey bees.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:52 PM
 
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If you cut the vines, eventually they will dry up and naturally fall out of the oak trees. This could take 2 years. they first dry and then get brittle/lightweight after about 1 year. At this point you can stand below and give an easy tug and put a garbage bin under there and they vines just start falling out of the tree. Or wind/rain will bring several down at a time.

If you pull them out of the tree just after you cut the vines, then the vines are still very strong and attached and you will break healthy branches and twigs and leaves from the tree. This isn't good for the tree.

I had large grape vines kill oak trees. They got completely smothered from the vines and eventually the top 3/4 of the tree just snaps off and falls to the ground, still entangled in vines. What's left is the trunk which dies. I had this happen to small and large oaks.
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
20,783 posts, read 9,411,484 times
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Yes, Ivy can kill trees.

How To Save Your Trees From Death By English Ivy | Inexpensive Tree Care

The OP mentioned that the ivy in his/her tree had thick trunks encasing the tree. Ever hear of strangler figs? Although nowhere as aggressive, a large ivy can indeed strangle a tree by something like de facto girdling.

An interesting fact about ivy - it has a juvenile and an adult leaf form. The picture the OP posted is the classic adult form. An adult will flower, and the flowers, while not gorgeous, are interesting and attractive. They smell wonderful, sort of like grape kool-ade, only better, and honey bees do love them.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,048 posts, read 12,849,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sware2cod View Post
If you cut the vines, eventually they will dry up and naturally fall out of the oak trees. This could take 2 years. they first dry and then get brittle/lightweight after about 1 year. At this point you can stand below and give an easy tug and put a garbage bin under there and they vines just start falling out of the tree. Or wind/rain will bring several down at a time.

If you pull them out of the tree just after you cut the vines, then the vines are still very strong and attached and you will break healthy branches and twigs and leaves from the tree. This isn't good for the tree.

I had large grape vines kill oak trees. They got completely smothered from the vines and eventually the top 3/4 of the tree just snaps off and falls to the ground, still entangled in vines. What's left is the trunk which dies. I had this happen to small and large oaks.
I pulled most of my grapevines out of my oaks while they were green and I had little to no damage. But, yes, I did take a chance with damaging the trees. There is even a chance that you could pull a large tree over that has weak roots - large grapevines, in the canopy, will put a lot of force on the tree attached to a pickup truck. I just had so many vines that I did not want to fool around waiting a few years and, besides, my wife was busy making grape vine wreaths! They don't make good wreaths when they dry out!

Like you stated they do get lighter and more brittle with time. If you wait too long to pull them out the trees; they can and will snap off and leave pieces high in the trees.
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