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  Ivy- Does English Ivy harm Trees?

Q: My garden has a large Lime Tree, Ivy has grown up into the lower Boughs, I do cut it back occasionally but my wife gets mad at me when I do this. Who is right? -- D McDavit

A: Here in England we  know it as Ivy, but then we would, as it is a native species. There is no doubt in my mind that trees and very seriously impacted by ivy infestation, one it gets into the upper canopy the tree is in trouble, and even when the ivy is killed off the tree is usually in poor health and frequently misshapen having lost much of the expected growth in the lower branches.

Experts believe that Ivy is not parasitic, but I have seen that Ivy will take much longer to kill on a living tree than a dead one leading me to believe that it actually gains some sustenance from a healthy tree. Obviously the roots of the ivy mingling with the roots of the host tree deprive it of water and nutrition. Ed  June 2019 Ref:0579

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