Winter is almost over, but before it goes away, you should take the opportunity to release a tree from English Ivy. It’s best done in the winter when stinging insects and spiders are dormant and poison ivy doesn’t have leaves.
English ivy is an invasive species that can add a lot of weight, windload and competition to a tree. Ivy covers the trunk and branches and can hide potential problems in the tree.
Don’t try to remove the vines. Just cut out a section. If the vines are completely severed, they can usually be pulled out of the tree later after dying and drying out.
Watch out for poison ivy. Look for vines that have horizontal branches sticking out, or extra hairy vines. Poison ivy vines can be hidden amongst the English ivy vines. Poison ivy vines still have sap in the winter and give you an unpleasant surprise.
There can be great satisfaction in cutting vines, then watching the English ivy decline in the spring while watching a tree flourish.
Know when to call a professional. It can be challenging to cut larger or extremely dense vines without damaging the tree. If you have a big ivy project, consider getting some help. Your trees will thank you.