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I dispute your statement that Ivy...'will not constrict' trunks or branches. I sawed through an Ivy stem at its base - it was a 4.5 ins diameter stem whih was growing up a 50-60 ft Oak Tree - and
simultaneously when I'd finished cutting-through the stem , - the stem on the upper side of the cut sprung away for about 2 ins. One could not push it back in situ, even with great pressure. Therefore the stem had grown & created tension,by itself.
Another name for this tension would be
When one removes Ivy that has been growing
around branches for a considerable time -
one can often see the actual indentations/
impressions marked upon the surface of those branches - in the same way as one
sees similar ones following the removal of
a Tree-Tie c/w stake after the establishment
of a young tree. We all know that where
such operations have been neglected, that
growth of the tree is curtailed,because there is a check on the trees physical growth systems. Ivy must check these sytems in the same hysical way.
beleive that

A downside characteristic of ivy on trees is the prospect of the bulk eventually making the tree unstable.

Ivy being Evergreen growing on deciduous trees makes the trees highly likely to be blown over in gale force winds, some evidence of this can be seen in many woods up and down the land, hence why the Ivy is often cut especially along roads and other highways.

In my job, I have been delivering heating fuel to the rural parts of 11 midlands counties, for 12 hours a day, and for 32 years. I have traveled along literally thousands of lanes, to hundreds of villages (I have the evidence to support this) and I say without reservation that Ivy is detrimental to healthy trees. Every year, in the storms and high winds of the late Autumn, the vast majority of trees, including the healthy looking ones I see fallen, are the ones covered from bottom to top with Ivy. During the Summer, the odd fallen one, is Ivy covered. Other drivers are aware and in agreement with this, and fear for the future of our country lanes. Any single chance I get, the saw, and the secateurs come out, goodbye Ivy, and our woodland heritage gets a breathing space.
We need an "Ivy League", to save our Trees, we have "Guerilla Gardners", it's the trees that need our help now.

Ivy is not good for trees. Specimen trees should always be kept clear of it. Dying trees near roads or in parks frequented by people should be cleared of Ivy and stablised or cut down. However it would be impracticable to remove all Ivy from all trees, especially in a unfrequented woodland, and any Wildlife Trust would argue that ivy is a vital part of the wildlife hierarchy. Home to bugs which in turn are food for birds nesting in the ivy.

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