Vines Putting Trees In Lexington At Risk

June 15, 2020

Editor, The News-Gazette:

I’d like to draw attention to a worrisome occurrence in the city of Lexington: mature trees are being strangled and sometimes killed by ivy and other vines.

These vines are attaching to a tree’s trunk, growing up and smothering, weakening, and in some instances killing them. A good area to observe this is on Washington Street in the fraternity house yards, and along Lewis Street just off of Washington, where you will see various stages of the invasion. This occurs on public property and lawns of private homes. The Sigma Nu headquarters grounds, the city hall lawn, W& L fraternity houses, W&L’s campus and Davidson Street park display this problem, and undoubtedly trees all around town.

The current mood of staying home presents good opportunities to assess our own trees, identify those at risk, and remove the vines. Horticulturists say the best practice is to cut the vines about 10 inches above the ground, killing those on the tree. One needs to monitor the tree for future new vine growth. Another option is to completely dig out the invaders.

Trees give us so much: habitat, cooling shade, windbreaks, air and sound filters, loveliness, and grace. They enhance our quality of life. They are life. Please help preserve them.



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