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Vines Off the Trees and More Newsletter




It’s time for a very important annual landscaping chore. Let’s all get the ivy and other vines out of our trees.
Vines should simply not be allowed to grow on or 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 even many groundcovers are 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 the bark and 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. I used to make the same mistake.

A very important fall/winter maintenance procedure I write into specs is this:  
Remove all vines and ground covers from trees completely. Also remove the plants out to at least 12" around the base to expose the trunk and root flare. If soil and/or mulch are covering the flare, they should be removed. See Root Flares for more information on this subject. 
Here's information on Planting Trees and Treating Sick Trees
Find the perfect gift, books and products to help you enjoy your trees and to start an organic home vegetable garden. Look for a retailer in your area in the business listing on
To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in each Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show.The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on organics.

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett

P. S. We are thankful for you! Happy Thanksgiving from the Dirt Doctor.

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