Is Ivy Growing Up My Tree a Bad Thing?
April 8, 2015
We are often asked “Will ivy growing up the trunk of my established tree harm it?” Yes and no. Generally, ivy will not harm a healthy, established tree. However, ivy growing around the base of a tree and up its trunk could be competing with nutrients, sunlight and water that the tree needs. This could cause the tree to weaken and become more prone to pests and disease. Ivy growing up a tree also encourages moisture to build up on and under the bark, further encouraging insects to invade because the moisture softens the bark, allowing for pests to get underneath it easier.
We recommend never allowing ivy to grow over the tree’s root flares or up the trunk. It’s best to regularly trim the ivy back beyond the root flares. By allowing the ivy to cover the root flares, it can have the same detrimental effect as allowing too much soil to cover the root flares. Removing the ivy will take a bit of work, but it is worth it to save an established shade tree that adds so much value to your home.
If you have a tree with ivy growing up the side, we highly suggest an evaluation of the tree. There could be issues developing under that greenery you don’t even know about! Call us this spring in Dallas and Fort Worth for a consult.