The Silent Killer in Your Yard

*What’s scarier than bumping into a spider web, a witch, a black cat or a bat in the dark of All Hallows Eve? It’s a zombie plant *that harbors rodents and mosquitoes on the ground but morphs into a killer of earth’s largest living ancient species when it climbs and matures. Still stumped?
*It’s English ivy, which can choke – and kill* — the beautiful trees that give our yards and neighborhoods shade and character. What *looks *like a lovely little green plant can clamp onto trees, accelerating rot, and causing mature trees to fall down during storms.
Ivy can strangle trees, and once it is in the tree canopy, it can block sunlight from the trees’ leaves. Dense ivy cover deprives the tree’s bark of normal contact with air and microorganisms and competes with the tree for nutrients and water. Ivy is a threat. But we can beat it with simple landscaping work.
Visit for more information about how to remove ivy from trees and additional education materials. You can also contact the TreeStewards at to get a demonstration on how to remove ivy from a tree in your yard or to request a speaker. We’d like to know how the campaign is succeeding. Please notify us when you clear ivy from trees or if you are using the materials in your work by emailing
These materials were developed for TreeStewards and Arlington Regional Master Naturalists under a grant from the Tree Canopy Fund of Arlington, Virginia. These materials, created by the Biodiversity Project of Chicago, may be adapted and distributed by anyone who wants to protect their trees.