Question: Will English ivy climbing a tree trunk hurt the tree?

Answer: Clinging, climbing vines can hurt trees, but only in two specific cases. If you let them grow out over the limbs so that they form a dense canopy over the tree’s foliage they can literally “shade the plant to death.” Also, if you have a severe ice storm, the ice on the added leaf surface can add enough weight that the limbs end up breaking. The ivy stems and roots will not rob any nutrients or moisture from the tree’s trunk, as some will tell you. All things considered, it’s probably best to keep the stems of the ivy pruned off before they get into the main part of the tree’s canopy.

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