Ivy on apple tree

I have a mature apple tree in my garden and this year I have lots of ivy growing up the trunk and branches.  I like the look but not sure if it will affect the tree. Can anyone help thanks

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,118
    Ivy just uses trees as a support to help them climb. They aren’t parasitic.

    They also provide wonderful homes for all kinds of insects and, if they get dense enough, birds. We have a little wren nesting in some ivy on our garden wall just now.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 1,396
    Yes is does look nice and this year mine has house sparrows nesting in it. I have three Hawthorne trees only one of which has ivy (coming from next door and impossible to get to) the other two are fine but the trunk with ivy is struggling. It has three main limbs two of which have leaves and flowers, but a little sparsely , the third one has no canopy growth above the ivy, these trees are about 20 foot tall and this year I think the ivy will cover the top two feet. It's not parasitic but I do think it is being smothered,  I also wonder about the weight its carrying. 
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 194
    I tend to cut ivy off above a certain height on most trees (basically the height I can reach on a small ladder) particularly the older ones where the weight could be a problem.  I have lots elsewhere that flowers so I reckon that’s a fair split for the insects.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,371
    Whilst ivy is not parasitic, it can smother and kill trees.
    On the green just outside my house a very mature oak is now all but dead - it just looks like a huge ivy tree - there are no oak leaves to be seen now and branches are falling, and a similar sad story 2 doors down where another mature oak is almost dead as the occupants have left the ivy for 30+ years. A similar oak in my neighbour's garden is well looked after, they keep the ivy off it and it is flourishing.
    Ivy is great for wildlife, but needs to be kept in check - I'd rather see a glorious oak than a dead tree smothered in ivy which will fall.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 52,211
    Helix said:
    I tend to cut ivy off above a certain height on most trees (basically the height I can reach on a small ladder) particularly the older ones where the weight could be a problem.  I have lots elsewhere that flowers so I reckon that’s a fair split for the insects.
    👍 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 1,804
    Because ivy keeps its leaves all year round, it creates wind resistance which would not be a problem for an ivyless deciduous tree.  So when winter gales come, a tree with its crown full of ivy is more likely to be blown down.
  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 262
    Many of the old hedgerows in my area are becoming smothered in ivy.  The old hawthorns then collapse under the weight and are cleared away.  Will a new hedge be planted?  I wonder....
    East Anglia
  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,684
    I think Helix has it about right - on a mature tree, keeping the ivy to a manageable height is a good thing.
    Letting it completely take over a young tree or a hedgerow is a different matter entirely.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 998
    Yuyp, it's good for wildlife but bad for hedges, and trees if allowed to get too high. I lost one large willow to ivy, and nearly lost another but I cut the ivy back and, over a year, the ivy peeled off and the willow is now putting out new growth and looking a lot healthier. I've also removed it from a line of beech and oak. In one of the hedges small hawthorns and hazels have been brought down by winter gales due (I believe) to the dense tods of ivy that they're been carrying. I'm slowly unsmothering these too.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 719
    I had a hawthorn totally smothered, with a canopy that you couldn't see through.  It took finished off one tree, and I rescued the other, the shape of the tree is slightly odd as a result.  But as soon as sun hit the trunk it put out new growth.  And actually it doesn't look all that bad now.  I should have pruned it a bit before it chucked out new growth, as it is now hard to climb as a result.  If it had been a younger tree, I figure it could have easily been smothered.

    There's a large apple in the neighbours garden, covered in Ivy, and that has lost a limb.  I tried to help and remove a load of it a few years back, but before you know it, it seems to just turn up again.  
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