Tree in trouble from vines?

Asked June 16, 2018, 3:29 PM EDT

Hello, I have a tree in my front yard that looks unwell. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but it is taller than my 2 story house and it had needle type leaves. Surrounding the base of the tree is a layer of what looks like a kind of ivy. I have neglected this poor tree and only recently noticed that its branches seem bare (not producing many leaves) and the ivy (or whatever it is) has covered the tree trunk almost to the top of the tree. I hope it's not too late for me to save this tree.

Montgomery County Maryland

3 Responses

Your tree is a blue spruce, a Colorado blue spruce. Very popular here but not adapted well. They usually die of a fungal disease: after 20 years or so. Your tree has declined too far to be saved.

The vines are English ivy, which is not native here. It is considered a foreign invasive vine because it invades natural and park areas, smothering native plants that wildlife need. (Though it did not kill your tree.) Ideally, it should all be removed and the area replanted with something that is not invasive.
At the least, never let it grow up trees, because then it matures and produces berries that birds spread to new areas.



Thank you for the informative response. That is disappointing. Is it dangerous to leave the tree where it is for now?


From what we can see in your photo the tree looks like it is in a residential area. If there is any danger that the tree could cause property damage or personal injury it should be removed immediately. For a better idea of whether this is a hazardous tree contact a certified arborist.
Please see the following information from our website,