Saw a lovely example of serious “ivy ringing” at The Vyne (National Trust, near Basingstoke) whilst on a Sunday walk recently.
Ivy which completely engulfs a tree will eventually threaten its survival, as it chokes and kills the crown foliage. The tree declines and dies, mainly through lack of light, essential for the process of healthy growth and renewal. Ivy like this also makes working on a tree more challenging because we can’t see the condition of the base, trunk and stems, so it’s easy to miss dead limbs, fungal fruiting bodies, or broken and hung-up branches which are hidden behind the ivy “mask”.
And if work is required to an ivy-clad tree, it’s sometimes safer for us to use a mobile elevated working platform (MEWP) rather than send up an arborist in a rope and harness, as occasionally, there can be no sure way of telling whether the tree underneath the blanket of ivy is sound enough to take the climber’s weight as he manoeuvres around the crown.
The answer is to cut through the ivy, severing the main stem/s, so that it will defoliate and die off. Often this is done by cutting a swathe through the ivy at about 1m up on the trunk, but any cutting of the main stems will have the same effect, and in this case below, the very thick ivy stem has simply been cut through near the base of the tree.
The ivy has defoliated but the snakey stems still cling to the trunk of the tree, reminding us of a kind of horticultural bony skeleton.
Are your trees ivy-clad, and need “ringing”?
For a free, detailed quote, call Andrew on 01256 817369, 07771 883061 or email him at Andrew@primarytreesurgeons.co.uk