A lot going on in the world since I last checked in. My husband of two decades, Ben Gillum, celebrated five years of cancer remission in January. 👯 As you can imagine, I am filled with the deepest gratitude to all the medical professionals and researchers who saved Ben’s life. Here’s a picture I took of Ben last fall with one of my monarch babies on his noggin. How’s this for a hair plug?:
Ben‘s a real estate professional with Keller-Williams here in Asheville. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Western North Carolina, give him a call (828-989-2815). Shout-out to my sweet potato!
Someone asked me recently if the Botanical Gardens is responsible for the “English Ivy Kills Trees” signs that have popped up all over Asheville. Ha! Guerrilla marketing campaigns are not our style. However, as the spokeswoman of MonarchLover.org, I certainly approve of this effort to educate the public about English ivy.
The introduction of non-native English ivy has resulted in so much damage in our yards and countrysides, crowding out native plants and, yes, killing trees. It twines up trees damaging bark and making the tree more susceptible to rot and disease. It weighs down the branches and shades out a tree’s leaves from the sun.
Winter is a great time to tackle English Ivy.
For one thing, you’re less likely to get into poison ivy in the winter, but wear gloves, anyway. The poison ivy is still out there, and English ivy gives some people contact dermatitis. Below is a tree that I’m adopting for ivy removal. After reading up on ivy removal at the city of Portland’s NO IVY LEAGUE website, I’ve learned the best way to tackle this beast. the site even has a nice brief video on the topic — visit them online here.
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel when you can look on their site to learn the details on proper ivy erradication. However, I will give you a brief synopsis: don’t pull the vines from the tree! Ivy cements itself to the trunk and pulling it off can damage the bark and harm the tree. Instead, girdle the ivy by cutting it at the bottom of the trunk and a point three feet above the bottom cut. Then, around the bottom, create a “lifesaver,” by pulling all the ivy roots within a three-foot circle all the way around the trunk of the tree. It’s a very satisfying and gratifying task to save a tree. Until next time, cheers!