Does ivy damage fruit trees?

Ivy climbing up the trunk of trees does no harm at all, and is can be a valuable part of the ecosystem. Ivy is a good source of winter feed for birds in relation to its flowering at that time of the year. However ivy must not spread out along the branches of its host tree. Ivy then reduces the light quality too much and the host tree will suffer. Ivy just uses the tree as a support. It roots just cling on to the bark, they don’t extract any nutrients from it. So if you have some mature trees with ivy, you just need to cut back the ivy from where they are growing into the branches. Be careful when pulling off the ivy, because there is a risk of damaging the bark. Just cut through the ivy stem, wait for the peripheral ivy branches to die, and then remove them from the tree. At that stage the ivy’s hooking roots will have died and they break away without damaging the bark.

Ivy, photo by Vince Wingate on

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