I planted ivy at the base of our huge beautiful sycamore tree.  Now the ivy is growing up the tree.  Will the ivy damage the tree, or is it alright??  It looks pretty, but sure don't want to damage the beautiful tree

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4 Answers

if the ivy is growing around the trunk or branch, best to remove

i have seen 100 yr old evergreen do great

my forsthia, more vine like, not so good
by (540 points)
It can pull the tree down and or kill it.  I agree that this vine needs to come down and don't mulch it......put it in a trash bag and in the trash.
by (152k points)
NO ! - Ivy in itself will not damage the unless the tree is very young, or old and weak.   In both cases the ivy naturally effectively overtakes the host tree.  The problem for weakened trees is the ivy  increases the in balance of the tree structure producing a 'sail effect', making a weak tree prone  to more sever storm damage.

Depending on your tree and its age the ivy can easily co-habituate, but should be pruned after it reaches the main outward branches.   This may be anywhere from six to twelve feet above grade level.  If your sycamore tree is healthy there should be no problem. Seek out professional advice from a regional botanical university.  Do not rely on a local contractor, or decorative plant specialist.

Rampant ivy growth may indicate that the tree is unhealthy when a tree is very old, and possibly dying back.  Consult an professional agriculturist, or tree surgeon, to set the limits, and ascertain a pruning schedule to balance the ivy spread for a two to three year schedule.

English ivy engulfs trees, causing several types of damage. Wrapped around the trunk and branches, English ivy inhibits tree leaf access to sun and moisture, killing foliage and, eventually, the undernourished tree. While robbing leaves of needed water, clustered vines also can hold moisture close to the trunk and limbs, providing homes for damaging insects. The added weight created by massive English ivy growth can outpace root growth rapidly, making trees top-heavy and prone to falling in heavy wind or rain storms.

Environmental Damage

Even as a ground-cover, English ivy can prove a menace to woodlands and other wild areas. According to the California Invasive Plant Council, English ivy can damage wild trees, but also choke out native wildflowers, and other native plants and shrubs. Unchecked in growth, English ivy creates shaded areas that interfere with seed growth. Leaf litter from English ivy is high in nitrogen, spoiling soil for native plants accustomed to lower nutrient soils. The California Invasive Species Advisory Committee rates English ivy as widespread throughout the state.


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