English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Ginseng family (Araliaceae)
Description: English ivy is a familiar, woody vine often seen growing up tree trunks and building walls up to 100 feet high. Its leaves are leathery, green and glossy. English ivy smothers other groundcovers, shrubs and the tallest trees. It may take awhile, but this popular ivy will kill fully mature trees such as big leaf maple, red alder, or Sitka spruce.
Habitat: Open forests and urban forests, especially those with a deciduous component, and riparian zones, however it does not like water logged soils.
Distribution: English ivy is widespread and in its native European range is usually found in woods and along rocky areas. It is problematic throughout northern California forests south to Santa Cruz. It is a serious problem in the coastal Pacific Northwest from central Oregon into British Columbia.
Flowering Period: English ivy blooms in the fall, and fruits are produced the following spring in April and May.
Eradication note: In forested settings, it is easiest to manually treat ivy in the spring when the soil is moist and before deciduous forest plants leaf out because the ivy is more visible at this time. To kill ivy up trees, simply cut all the ivy stems around the tree bark without cutting the tree bark and leaving about a 3 foot gap between cut vines. It may take one to two years to completely die back, and if it hasn't by then, a vine on the tree bark may have been missed; cut this and the entire plant will die.
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