Ivy removal

08 February 2024

Give your trees a new lease of life by clearing the canopy of dead ivy and allowing the tree to grow and breathe again.

Ivy removal

Ivy (Hedera helix) is a native invasive creeper that roots in the ground and creeps up anything it comes across be it walls, fences, shrubs, buildings or trees. It can grow at an alarming rate and if left unchecked can eventually grow all the way up the trunk of a tree and out into the canopy, completely swamping the tree. It forms a dense mass of growth that creates a great habitat for invertibrates and nesting birds but unfortunately has a detrimental effect on the tree.

The extra weight from the plant can be quite substantial, particularly when wet and puts undue stress on the limbs of the tree making them more susceptible to breaking in strong winds or snowy conditions. Being an evergreen plant it not only robs gardens of natural light in the winter months, but also prevents any new leaf growth within the tree's canopy. The woody stems of the plant wrap themselves around the tree trunk and branches and can restrict their growth and damage the bark allowing insects and bacteria into the tree. The dense lattice work of woody stems also trap dead leaves which turn to soil in the branch crotches causing rotting, weak branch unions, and allowing the ivy to re-root higher up in the tree.

If you do want your trees clearing of ivy then bare in mind that bird nesting season usually runs from March through to September, although this can vary depending on weather conditions. The best time for ivy removal is during the winter months when there is no chance of coming across any active bird nests. The ivy stems can be severed around the base of the tree which in most cases will kill the ivy above. When the dead ivy dries out and becomes brittle it is easier to pull away from the trunk. Alternatively it can all be stripped from the tree whilst still green. This varies in difficulty depending on the bark of the tree and how established the ivy has become.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Privacy policy