Ivy and raccoon in a tree

Asked August 12, 2015, 5:51 PM EDT

Sorry, this is actually two questions: 1. Our neighbor's yard is a jungle including uncontrolled ivy that is killing a large maple in their yard, but which has big branches over our deck and roof. The tree is looking like its a goner. When it finally does die, should we be concerned about those branches breaking off or the tree falling and damaging our property? In other words, does the tree kind of rot in place or what? (Tree photo is 7366 2. In the same tree today, I saw a raccoon. I have sunflower seeds that are out for the birds in squirrel-proof feeders, but I don't know if they are raccoon-proof, see photos 7367, 7370. I also have a birdbath that might be used by the raccoon. Do I need to stop feeding the birds, or do you have any idea whether a raccoon will move on?

Washington County Oregon

2 Responses

Ivy seldom kills trees as large as that in your picture. Several other reasons could be responsible for a maple’s decline, among them drought-stress (too little water) and/or disease. Even so, it’s true that the extra weight of the ivy, plus rain and/or snow, could be enough to cause dead branches to drop.

I suggest you and your neighbor discuss the potential hazard for both properties and the people who live there. One way to do that is to invite unbiased persons for on-site evaluations. I suggest Certified Arborists qualified to evaluate potentially hazardous trees. If the consensus is to remove the tree, you and the neighbor could agree to share the cost. You can locate Certified Arborists using this website: http://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/arboristsearch.aspx

When it comes to the raccoons, I suggest you review the ideas and strategies in “Living with Nuisance Wildlife” http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/19728/ec1579.pdf and that at “Problem Wildlife in the Garden and Yard” http://npic.orst.edu/pest/wildyard.html.

Thank you!