I hate Ivy. I am not too keen on stinging nettles either, but my
dislike of the green vampire of the vegetable world is of quite a
different order. If there is a heaven and hell for green living things
there must be a special place in that hell for the genus Hedera. The
good news is that we can all get some outdoor fun and healthy
exercisefrom liberating one of our most beautiful and valuable assets
from this nasty weed; I am referring to the trees and woodlands that
grace our planet
Ivy has dozens of negative qualities, but first let's discuss what
must be done about it. At all costs it should be
prevented from reaching into the crown of healthy trees where it will
impact it's health and reduce life expectancy. In this article we will show how it is possible to make a difference.
Hopefully we can motivate people to follow our example and liberate
some trees. Trees and woodlands need our support more than ever before.
Ivy lives in a dependent relationship with trees. it uses the strong wooden structure of the tree as a physical support. It can thus avoid investing energy in producing a strong supporting structure. It can grow much faster than the tree it lives on, more that five metres in a year.
Trees should not have their roots entangled with those of a vine whose interests are being served mainly at the expense of the host. Ivy is also able to smother the young seedlings that normally grow in the neighbourhood of the parent tree.
I suppose that ivy on a healthy tree is also taking carbon dioxide out of the the air and storing it in the wood of the vine, but it is my belief that the ivy does this much less effectively than the tree.
A woodland is not just a bunch of trees growing together, it is a diverse ecosystem that includes a range of wildlife; shrubs, ferns, flowers small mammals, insects and worms - and more, and so often when we are in woodland, we have instead of a magical glade, a green desert, an infestation of Hedera that has reduced everything to a nightmare, Ivy excludes more desirable plants and covering and smothering with noxious leathery green leaves.
Preventing ivy becoming a monoculture in woodland is difficult and expensive but hopefully dealing with the problem will be seen by the authorities as the serious problem that it is
You will need sharp tools and some safety equipment in the shape of gloves and eye protection. ~ David Edmunds