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Vines Off of Trees Newsletter

Dirt Doctor Weekly Newsletter

Time to Get Vines Off of Trees

Unless you have already done it, let’s all get the ivy and other vines out of the trees.

Vines should simply not be allowed to grow in trees. In the tops of trees, the vines reach out beyond the tree leaves and block the sunlight. With sunlight cut down, photosynthesis is reduced and tree health suffers. Plus it just looks messy.


English ivy and other clinging vines and groundcovers are also a problem on trunks of trees. The foliage and stems collect organic material in the form of loose bark, dead leaves and dust. This mixture creates soil that collects in crotches, but worse, it builds up on the root flares of trees. Long term this creates a condition similar to trees being planted too deep in the ground. Girdling, rot and even death can result. At the very least, tree health and growth are reduced.  Some people say it’s okay to leave these plants on the trunks of trees. Their advice is very bad.

A very important fall/winter maintenance procedure I write into specs now is this:  Remove all vines and ground covers from trees completely. Also remove the plants from at least 12" around the base to expose the trunk/ root flare.  If soil and/or mulch are covering the flare, they should be removed.   See Root Flares. 

Here's some useful information on Planting Trees and Treating Sick Trees

If you have any questions regarding this newsletter or any other topic, join me for my radio show heard in Dallas/Fort Worth on Saturday at 11am and across the country on Sunday from 8 - 11am (CST).  Radio.  

To learn more on living a Natural Organic lifestyle, go to

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett
The Dirt Doctor  



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