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March 16, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland

Creepy tree

Creey tree 16.3.13

This must be the creepiest tree I’ve ever seen, (pun intended).   This is an extreme example of ivy overwhelming a tree.  The tree itself looked okay but the problem comes from the weight of the ivy on the branches in strong winds.  This tree belongs in a witch’s garden I think.



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  1. Earth Blah Blah / Mar 16 2013 7:21 pm

    I wanted to comment but the only word echoing in my head is “wow” so I’ll just be quiet. Sorry.

  2. kiwiskan / Mar 16 2013 8:23 pm

    It’s always pretty sad to see ivy strangling a tree like that

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Mar 16 2013 8:32 pm

      I have researched this and there are mixed views on the damage that ivy does do to trees. It’s not actually a parasite and the tree is just a support. Ivy will compete for nutrients in the soil though. The main problem seems to be the extra weight on the extreme branches which pose a risk in high winds and can make the host tree unstable.

  3. Touring NH / Mar 16 2013 9:24 pm

    It reminds me of the ficus trees I saw in St. Lucia, except the ficus are parasites that eventually kill the host tree. Still a neat photo!

  4. roberta4949 / Mar 16 2013 9:47 pm

    do you know what kind of ivy it is? poor tree it might die from the competition for food.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Mar 16 2013 10:29 pm

      I don’t know the particular variety. Both tree and ivy are clearly very well established and the tree looked healthy enough. It’s mainly in the crown it becomes a problem. This tree borders a farm field and has therefore been left for nature to take its course over the years. When it is on people’s property it usually gets cut off about waist height. I know in some climates ivy can be a problem but in the UK it is largely managed and many like it as an evergreen cover and for providing a home to many forms of wildlife. Of course some also dislike it as a pain in the **** to get rid of. It is a very tough plant and I do battle with it a couple of times a year to keep it under control on my property.

  5. John / Mar 17 2013 3:12 am

    Seems like it belongs in a forrest in Middle Earth…

    Nice shot.

  6. flyingbirdman / Mar 17 2013 11:42 am

    Strangler fig?

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Mar 17 2013 2:15 pm

      I can see why you might think that but Strangler Fig wouldn’t survive in the UK. There’s nothing tropical or sub-tropical about the UK, even on a good day. It’s just plain old ivy. I think it’s called English Ivy in the States but I may be wrong. There are many varieties of ivy in the UK but nothing wildly exotic. It’s just that if it finds the circumstances that really suit it and it is left undisturbed for long enough it can become what you see in the picture. It is difficult to tell from the photo but the tree it is on is a mature oak, centuries old and in a place where no one will disturb it. So what you see has taken a very long time indeed to get to this state.

      • flyingbirdman / Mar 18 2013 5:10 am

        I love old growth forests.I always tell kids how its more important to save old mature trees as they support more wildlife.British isles were teeming with life but islands are prone to extinction,,so many beautiful animals gone forever on islands all around the world. 😦

  7. stanito / Mar 27 2013 4:34 pm

    so beautiful!

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