UKTC Archive

!RE: Tree condition Ivy and other commensals on trees

Subject: !RE: Tree condition Ivy and other commensals on trees
From: "Rupert Baker"
Date: Jan 10 2022 12:56:57
Dear Andrew, (and Tim - re Derek Patch's Arb research Note 81.90); and the 
earlier comment about Ivy not being an issue for forestry.
Interesting about the quality of the honey for a beekeeper; 
Other points:
In UK, Ivy (Hedera helix not Toxicodendron radicans) has responded better to 
global warming/increased CO2 levels than the trees it grows up - (pers comm 
at an Arb Conference from a researcher, and my own observations over many 
years)
It always was an issue for foresters in Ash plantations/woodland, because the 
extra labour of stripping the ivy when the work was done by hand-cutters 
rather than processors;
It is now an issue in other woodland plantation types with denser crowns than 
Ash.
On trees with compromised root systems or other stability issues, its sail 
area can tip the balance and render a tree unstable
It has to get its nutrients from somewhere; so will be competing with the 
trees' roots for water and nutrients - 
On veterans which are hollowing, it is often ivy that is exploiting the humus 
formed from the decaying central wood of the tree - said humus being what one 
is always told is an advantage to the veteran as its component functional 
units recycle the material it laid down earlier. 

When inspecting a site with a large number of trees, there are always plenty 
of younger/low risk trees with ivy - these can be left as they are;  but on 
big old dodgy trees, removing ivy around the base may be essential to 
properly assess the tree's condition; it is often impossible to assess unions 
in the canopy if heavy Ivy growth is present; and if the tree is potentially 
unstable it may be necessary to specify cutting off the Ivy or to cut it 
oneself.

I know it has plenty of benefits as well, but there is more than enough of it 
to cover these points whilst where necessary freeing some trees from its 
clutches.

Happy new year everyone!

Rupert

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info On Behalf Of Andrew Branch
Sent: 10 January 2022 09:37
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: Tree condition Ivy and other commensals on trees

My own observations relate to two areas, trees and beekeeping. 
For trees I am aware that Ivy is smothering some areas of woodland, climbing 
over smaller trees like Hawthorn, some of which have succumbed to the 
competition. 
The woodland floor can have a dense covering of Ivy with very little 
successful natural regeneration of trees in spite of the ready seed sources. 
For bees, I am not alone in experiencing a late honey flow from Ivy now which 
would normally be good news, however the honey crystallises quickly making it 
less accessible to the bees in winter. 
The late flow also makes the cleaning out by bees of extracted honey boxes 
fairly tricky as they start adding more from the Ivy, and this is near 
impossible to extract if it crystallises first. 
Overall I think Ivy is desirable in terms of wildlife habitat, however I have 
begun to think some control measures may be needed in some areas of woodland 
where it is becoming over dominant. 
How to control it in large areas without causing excess damage to other 
woodland plants is another matter. 
Regards. 
Andrew.  

Sent from my iPhone

On 8 Jan 2022, at 21:45, Wayne Tyson <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com> wrote:

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the relationship of ivy with trees was 
commensal.

WT

On Fri, Jan 7, 2022 at 11:44 PM Charles Bennett < 
charlesbennett1959@xxxxxxxxxxx.com> wrote:

Hi Wayne

There are no deleterious effects in commensal relationships.

Charles


On Sat, 8 Jan 2022, 00:35 Wayne Tyson, <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com> wrote:

I'm interested in learning the opinions of the Forum on this subject 
in general, but particularly in deleterious effects.

Thanks to all,
WT



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The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
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