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Ivy taking over trees across Ireland

  • 31-01-2022 1:01pm
    Registered Users Posts: 204 ✭✭ Biscuitus

    I had a wedding last weekend across the country and couldn't believe the state of trees on farms and roads. With the leaves off the trees you can see the extent that ivy it taking over the country. Even immaculate dairy farms were covered and countless trees had been pulled down from it. Along the main roads and motorways newly planted trees on the banks were all covered in it so nothing is protected from it. Even plantations visible from the road had their outer trees covered in it which is going to be a major problem if Ireland needs trees for tax credits but ivy is killing older trees quicker than we can plant new ones.

    It's already at a point it can't be contained but at this rate it's going to increasingly kill off trees across Ireland every year. Cutting it is only slapping a bandaid since it regrows again and uses the dying ivy as a foothold. Spraying is an option but is costly and not going to look good long term. Sheep of course work wonders in keeping ivy down but that's not going to help public woods, parks, grounds and roads that are being overwhelmed. I'm surprised there isn't more talk about it but like Japanese knot weed people have their head in the sand ignoring it until you can now see signs for it across Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,542 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes

    I live within 8k of Dublin City Centre. At the back of my house is a large park with GAA, soccer pitches and walking paths. The Council have done great work over the years planting trees. Every single one of them is choked with ivy now. Incidentally all the back gardens including my own that back onto the park are ivy prone also, but I try to keep on top of it, a flipping losing battle I can assure you. I presume the trees will fall at some point or need to be cut down. Very sad to see.

    However, as you say, the trees are still standing and I can only assume they will come to no harm in the immediate future, which is all anyone seems to care about these days anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,397 ✭✭✭ Day Lewin

    Exactly this: ivy doesn't kill trees. What it can do is gradually "fill" the crown until the weight of it can catch a high wind and act as a "sail" to pull down an ageing or weakly-rooted tree. In a natural environment eg the forest, this is one way of creating a gap for sunlight to penetrate, and returning minerals to the soil.

    If you are anxious about ivy, just cut through the main stems (easy with a lopper) and the growth above will die and dry out, very easily pulled down a few months later.

    Ivy does seem to have become more vigorous of recent years - partly because of global warming (it is not hardy at VERY low temps) and also, the high winds that global warming causes make ivy a little more risky, as described above. That being said, it is an evergreen native and provides valuable habitat for insects and a very valuable food source in winter for many wild creatures.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,971 ✭✭✭ patsy_mccabe

    Cattle go nuts for it too, by the way. It's supposed to help cows pass the cleaning (placenta) after calving.

    " Always keep your eye on the ball, even when its in the refs pocket"

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,764 ✭✭✭ roosterman71

    I wonder will the OP be back to acknowledge the error in their assumption around ivy. Plenty of ivy on trees around me. Only weaker trees will I go and cut the ivy at the bottom and let it die off. Doesn't it provide feed for the insects and birds over the winter too?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,483 ✭✭✭✭ Base price


    And as others have said it is a important source of food for insects in late Autumn/early Winter and valuable shelter for small birds, mammals etc.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    Ivy is a very important part of our natural world.

    As mentioned above, the tree is screwed long before Ivy kills it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,743 ✭✭✭ straight

    What about laurel or Holly. Ivy is destroying every tree in the country. It's plain to see if you open your eyes. It's taking over hedgerows now too. Badly need a proper spray to kill it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,217 ✭✭✭ Furze99

    Absolute rubbish, the benefits of ivy have been well explained above. And where it has negative implications, how to manage it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,743 ✭✭✭ straight

    Sure whatever like. We'll see how it turns out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,529 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

    Save the environment with poison, not sure if this is a serious or a wind-up post.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,743 ✭✭✭ straight

    I don't make a habit of having pointless arguments with clueless people on the internet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,292 ✭✭✭ Birdnuts

    Oh Jaysus the irony of that post - go away and read up on what is a native plant and what isn't!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,562 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    In my misspent youth I sprayed round up under the electric fence. All you would be left with was ivy. I copped that fairly quickly. Ditches receive no herbicides anymore. Going by looking at the men in white suits on the motorway banks during the lockdowns maybe it hasn't dawned on those looking for their services and others elsewhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,529 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ Dinzee Conlee

    Lot of ivy in trees around here, know it doesn’t kill the trees but it doesn’t do them much good either.

    It’s an ongoing job to keep it cut. But even with cutting, there is still plenty of it about…

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭ ruwithme

    Eamon Ryan twill be delighted to read so many farmer's on boards agree with him on the ivy.

    I'd say hedge cutting on anything other than along a roadside will soon be banned in any future reps scheme.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,036 ✭✭✭ Lime Tree Farm

    There used be a saying at work one time - if you were overheard voicing fears - the Company would confirm them for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,183 ✭✭✭ poker--addict

    Lots of ivy on tall trees on a nearby ditch for us, same ditch a bit further along road the trees are clean with no ivy. I am guessing they were maintained and ivy never given a chance. My question is if I cut out or kill the ivy near the base of the tree, will it ever fall off higher up the trees, or will it just die off and remain in position (unsightly?)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,410 ✭✭✭ blackbox

    Farmers used to keep goats in with their cattle or sheep.

    They kept the ivy down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,653 ✭✭✭ tanko

    It will die and remain in position for a few years and eventually just fall off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,036 ✭✭✭ Lime Tree Farm

    More than likely birds are nesting in it at the moment. Better to leave it alone.