Negative Effects of English Ivy

Quicks Facts

  • Common Name:  Common Ivy or English Ivy
  • Latin Name:  Hedera helix
  • Areas Affected:  Trees and overgrown borders
  • Description: Glossy green simple leaf, woody evergreen climber, blue berry like fruit
  • Timing:  seen year round; treat accordingly
  • Do Not Plant: On the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team’s Do Not Plant List



  • Can reduce the trees capacity to produce energy by blocking out sunlight. Blocking out sunlight inhibits the tree to produce photosynthesis
  • Strangles young trees due to weight 
  • Causes competition for water and nutrients, which can decrease plant vigor
  • Ivy roots can become intertwined with tree roots which limits nutrient uptake
  • Suppresses nearby vegetative growth  
  • Rampant ivy growth weakens the trees overall health
  • Accelerates rot by harboring moisture adjacent to the trunk
  • Adds a substantial weight, which can cause mature trees to fail during severe storms
  • Hides defects of trees which could potentially pose a threat to adjacent infrastructure
  • Holds debris and fungal spores close to the bark which could lead to decline

How to Handle

  • Sever Ivy at eye level around the entire trunk
  • Remove from tree after the ivy dies back
  • If Ivy is present, routine maintenance is necessary in order to prevent invasive spreading


English Ivy (PNG)
English Ivy on a tree (PNG)