Volunteers Try to Save Dyke Marsh’s Trees
Throughout the 2020-2021 winter, FODMers and the National Park Service are working to remove the very abundant, very invasive English ivy (Hedera helix L.) that is climbing up trees. This plant is an evergreen, aggressive invader that can outcompete and smother native plants, block sunlight needed by herbs and seedlings and spread into the forest canopy.
“Vines climbing up tree trunks spread out and envelop branches and twigs, blocking sunlight from reaching the host tree’s foliage, thereby impeding photosynthesis,” says an NPS fact sheet. “An infested tree will exhibit decline for several to many years before it dies.”
Also, the added weight of vines can make the tree more vulnerable to blowing over during storms. It is also a reservoir for bacterial leaf scorch (Xylella fastidiosa), a harmful plant pathogen, says NPS.
Photos by Glenda Booth