English Ivy killing trees

Asked July 12, 2016, 10:18 AM EDT

Hello: My parents live in Mt Washington. They have a beautiful wooded lot with Old Maple, Oak, Elm, Walnut, & Tulip Popular. The invasive plant, "English Ivy", was killing these trees. Three years ago I began cutting the vines on the trees and ground with an axe, pruner, and shovel. Wherever I go, I keep these tools in my trunk to save as many trees as possible. To my surprise, when I visit wholesale and retail nurseries, they are selling English Ivy. How is this possible? My opinion is that this plant amongst others, should be banned. Please explain to me why this is not happening? I am also willing to help the fight. Regards, Michael Blue (561) 289-5555

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

You are correct. English Ivy is an invasive species of concern. You will find it on invasive plant lists of ours, as well as the Maryland Native Plant Society, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
We educate people about this all of the time.
Unfortunately, until recently, the only plants that were termed 'noxious' and controlled by law were those that were considered threats to the agricultural industry such as thistles and sorghums.
This is slowly changing and is being discussed more. We are glad you are interested in joining the discussion.
Please take a look at the following link to the invasive species portion of our website: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/invasives-0
You will find much information, as well as links to other organizations that are also working to educate the public, such as the Maryland Native Plant Society: http://www.mdflora.org/invasives.html
and here, take a look at the Plant Invaders of the Mid Atlantic- English Ivy is on page 105 but you will see the others of concern as well: https://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/midatlantic.pdf