Nistkasten

Does Ivy damage trees?

Garden Experts
In our garden, there are a few Conifers whose trunks have Ivy growing quite a way up them. Can this damage the trees and should the Ivy growth be removed?

The answer

Ivy cannot damage the tree so long as its roots don't dig into it and then grow on the tree as a parasite, like mistletoe does, for example. However, where the Ivy grows too fiercely and the Conifer is quite small, it can shade the tree's needles and lead to stunted growth. The tree could therefore break during a snowfall if the weight of snow is heavy enough. For this reason, one must always decide on a case-by-case basis whether to leave the ivy or remove it.