Ecological Threat in the United States
English ivy is an aggressive invader that threatens all vegetation levels of forested and open areas, growing along the ground as well as 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. An infested tree will exhibit decline for several to many years before it dies. The added weight of vines also makes trees susceptible to blowing over during storms. English ivy has been confirmed as a reservoir for bacterial leaf scorch (Xylella fastidiosa), a harmful plant pathogen that affects a wide variety of native and ornamental trees such as elms, oaks and maples.