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The Danger of Ivy in Trees

The Danger of Ivy in Trees

One of the problems of using ivy as a ground cover is that it isn’t content to just cover the ground. Given a few years it will cover the ground, grow over perennials and shrubs, swallow buildings and climb up the trees. English and Baltic ivy wants to take over the world.

Although many people realize that they need to pull ivy off of buildings and beat it back from perennial gardens, they often allow it to climb up their trees. Although this might seem harmless enough, ivy can ultimately put trees in danger. Once in the canopy ivy makes a tree a great deal heavier than it would normally be. This added weight means that an ivy filled tree is more likely to bend or break in high winds or heavy wet snow. So an ivy covered tree is in danger during storms.

If you have an ivy ground cover, keep clipping it when it tries to climb your trees. If the ivy is already growing up a tree, clip the stems of the ivy down near the base of the tree so that the top will die and eventually fall off.

Ivy will not only climb well into the tree's canopy, but as it grows vertically it develops larger leaves making this vine even heavier on top.

Ivy will not only climb well into the tree's canopy, but as it grows vertically it develops larger leaves making this vine even heavier on top.

Here is an oak tree that bent right over from the combined weight of ivy and heavy, wet snow.

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