Caring for ivy- what do you need to know?
Ivy is a creeping plant that clings to trees and buildings. It is not a parasitic plant, as is a common misconception, as it has a separate root system so absorbs its nutrients and water by itself. There is some debate on whether ivy is harmful to your garden or not, but it certainly does have its pros and cons. If your ivy does need removing, our team at Bronzeleaf Tree Surgeons are here to help- we have many years of experience and a professional, friendly team ready to assist.
What are the benefits of having ivy in your garden?
Ivy is often thought of as a problem in a garden, however, it has many benefits. Ivy can have health benefits, as it reduces mould and improves air quality by removing toxins. This means that those suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and COPD symptoms may experience an improvement in their symptoms.
Ivy can also protect buildings- findings from a study carried out by the English Heritage and Oxford University showed that in winter buildings covered with ivy are kept 15% warmer than buildings without. Furthermore, in the summer buildings covered with ivy were shown to be kept 36% cooler.
Ivy can be vital during the colder months to wildlife as it can thrive in cold and low light situations. The flowers provide nectar for insects in Autumn and the dark berries that grow during winter provide a food source that is vital for the survival of many birds such as thrushes and wood pigeons.
When can ivy be a problem?
Despite its benefits, it is important to be aware of the risks when it comes to ivy. It shouldn’t cause damage to structurally sound buildings, but if a building already has cracks and crevices the ivy can grow roots in them, potentially making entrances in the walls for pests such as mice.
Ivy can also be a problem when it comes to very old or damaged trees. If the ivy cover is thick, it may hide parts of a tree that are decaying, meaning that you may be unaware that your tree isn’t structurally sound. Its weight can also put significant strain on a tree which could affect its stability, particularly during extreme weather conditions. Ivy is also mildly poisonous- some people even develop dermatitis after coming into contact with the plant.
Here at Bronzeleaf Tree Surgeons, we can tell you whether ivy needs removing or not by using our many years of experience to assess the situation.
Ivy care and pruning
If you are wanting to keep the ivy in your garden, it is important to know how to take care of it. However, once well-established it is a low maintenance plant. Perfect for those who don’t have the time to be constantly thinking about their plants. Ivy needs regular watering until it is well-established, which takes about one growing season. After that, it only needs water during particularly dry spells of weather.
To maintain the look of ivy it only needs lightly trimming between two and three times a year. This is just to keep it looking neat and to get rid of any parts that may have been discoloured.
If you’re having problems with pests on your ivy plant, they are easy to control with insecticidal soap. Alternatively, if you’re having problems with caterpillars, you could remove them by hand- but make sure you wear gloves.
If your ivy needs removing, you can contact our fully qualified team at Bronzeleaf Tree Surgeons for help. This work must be done by trained professionals as it can be dangerous work. Our team are fully insured and trained in ivy removal. Being strong when clinging to structures, meaning that when it is removed it can take bits of plaster with it.
Smaller patches of ivy may be removed by hand. But if it is a large and uncontrolled patch, we may use chemicals to remove the ivy. This method must be carried out by a professional as the use of chemicals can be dangerous. At Bronzeleaf Tree Surgery we pride ourselves on a professional service from beginning to end.
Does your ivy need pruning or removal? You can give us a call on 07854 369097 to arrange a time for us to come out to you or browse the rest of our services by clicking here.
Article: Phoenix Marketing