I have seen a large amount of ivy on some trees - should it be removed as it may be killing the trees?
Ivy is not a plant which directly causes harm to trees. It is a non-parasitic climber which only has feeding roots in the soil around these trees. The small hair-like root structures on the ivy stems are for support only and do not take moisture or nutrients from the supporting tree.
Where ivy has grown high into the crown it may affect tree stability. The natural balance of the crown, stem and roots may be adversely affected by dense ivy growth and the tree may be liable to blow over in high winds, particularly when accompanied by rain or snow.
Dense ivy growth in the tree canopy is often associated with trees already weakened by disease or old age. Where such trees are near rides, footpaths or roads we may remove ivy in the interests of public safety.
However, ivy does provide a valuable habitat for insects and nesting birds. Its berries provide food for birds, particularly during the winter months when other food is scarce. We have a policy of protecting and enhancing the nature conservation interest of woodland and, as such, value the habitat offered by ivy (one of our few native evergreen plants).