Melanie Welles Creamer, Mount Vernon’s Senior Manager of Horticulture, welcomed their help to save some trees. Jim Gearing, a Friends of Dyke Marsh board member, conducted a training and showed the group how to use clippers, loppers and handsaws.
English ivy is an aggressive, non-native plant with aerial rootlets that attach to the objects it climbs. When it covers a tree’s bark, this perennial vine blocks the sunlight the tree needs for photosynthesis and its rootlets can burrow under the bark, which encourages decay and disease. Some trees can get weighed down with the vines and be more easily blown down during rain, snow and ice storms. When English ivy carpets the ground, it smothers and outcompetes more valuable native plants and reduces biodiversity. When it grows up walls, it can weaken masonry.