April 21, 2022: Answer 5

Dear Neil: Will plants like fig ivy and English ivy growing up tree trunks harm the trees? S.F., The Woodlands.

Continued Below

Both of those are clinging vines. They gain nothing from the trees other than support, so they are of no concern. The only possible problems would be if English ivy were to form a canopy over the tree’s branches and shade them excessively. Fig ivy will never get that large. Were you to have an ice storm and the ivy leaves get coated in ice (not likely where you are), the additional weight might break branches. Again, that’s only an issue with English ivy and other closely related ivies.

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