English Ivy Can Kill Trees

Watch for English Ivy growing on your trees because English Ivy can kill trees!!  The plant starts very small.  It is insidious, creeping slowly up your tree.  Just one little vine with tiny leaves grows up your tree or on your house.  Over the years it grows into a massive plant with thick vines and huge amounts of leaves.  The mature ivy adds a lot of weight to the tree. Eventually all that weight makes the tree unstable in a storm, possibly  bringing it down.

It blocks sunlight from the leaves of your tree and causes problems for the trunk by covering it so completely. Eventually English Ivy covers your tree most of the way up.  The thick vines at the bottom of the tree block things that are going on with the trunk.  See this picture of how English ivy covered up the damage that was happening to the trunk (scroll down the page) of a tree.

English Ivy on Our Neighbor’s Tree

There is a large tree behind our neighbor’s house.  It is a beautiful tree with a large canopy.  English Ivy grew up the tree.  I could see it growing on the tree trunk above their house– a massive , cushiony green column growing up the tree trunk and into the branches.  At the top of  the tree some branches started to die.  These stark brown branches jutted out from the top of the tree, without any leaves.

Our neighbors killed the ivy two years ago. This year you could see the damaged branches sticking out above the green canopy. Now that all the ivy leaves died and I see the branches, I see new growth growing from those branches. The neighbors truly saved their tree from the English ivy!!

English Ivy Can Kill Trees-Getting Started

English Ivy Can Kill TreesLook at the pictures to the left of the process of how English ivy can kill trees.  Here is a picture of a tree from my neighborhood this fall.  The autumn colors are very beautiful! Notice the green leaves on the tree and red leaves as they turn colors from the autumn.  But take a closer look.  The red leaves are from the actual tree.  The green leaves are all English ivy.

The English Ivy is taking over this tree.  It is very obvious as the leaves change into their fall colors leaving the ivy leaves green.  English ivy obliterates almost half of this tree.  What can be done?  First of all,  if you see English ivy growing rip it out when it is small and easy to get rid of.  Keep an eye out for new ivy plants and don’t let it get started.


English Ivy Vines Growing Up the TreeYou can see the vines grow around the tree trunk in the picture to the left.   They have been growing for a long time.  They are thick and strong.  I helped my son kill vines on his trees that were almost as thick as these.  I sawed through them.  It took a while to saw through each one, even the different runners.  After you cut or saw through the vines leave them on the tree.  They are attached with strong suction and can harm the tree trunk if  you pull them off.  Within the month the vines and leaves died on the tree.

Also, don’t let English Ivy grow on your house.  Cut or scrape it off the walls as it starts to grow.  Don’t let it get started because it will be much more work later to remove it.