Battling a Persistent Invader

English ivy is the bane of healthy trees in our area. If allowed to get out of control, the invasive Hedera helix climbs up tree trunks, eventually overwhelming the canopy and blocking sunlight needed for photosynthesis. Heavily infested trees are also more susceptible to being blown down in windstorms.

Ivy-infested tree before trimming

On a chilly and breezy day in late December, a team of Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards—Kathy Nepote, JoAnn Dally, Kay Flanagan, Allen Ingling, Lilibet and Alan Coe, and their grandson Tam—continued an ongoing effort to remove English ivy from trees in the city’s Greenleaf Park.

The CATS were careful not to yank the ivy from the trunks, which can tear bark and injure the tree. Rather they clipped or sawed the vines at the base, leaving ivy on the trunk to decay.

After trimming. leaving the ivy to decay on the trunk

In time, of course, this persistent invader will creep back. Plus berries from mature vines will be spread by birds and other wildlife. Our volunteers will return to keep the ivy in check.