I came across a fallen redwood recently that had been severely strangled by English ivy. The redwood had fallen across the road and a cross-section had been cut through the redwood’s trunk, revealing a shockingly think mass of ivy branches tightly wrapped around the tree’s bark.
Ivy is a climbing vine that once introduced to the redwood forest, can aggressively spread across the forest floor and up the trunk of redwoods. While appearing harmless at first, once established, ivy can grow quickly and cover the tree with leaves that block light and woody vines that restrict tree growth. Once a tight network of ivy branches are wrapped around a tree trunk, the tree will no longer be able to grow in girth.
If you have ivy creeping up one of your redwood trees, I recommend removing the ivy before it gets too firm of a grip on the tree. Your redwood will appreciate it!
Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.
When you drive north on Highway 101, just past the small town of Orick, you will begin to marvel at the giant redwoods of Redwood National and State Parks. There is no sign letting you know you have arrived; you just slowly become shaded by the great canopies towering above you.
The first rule of nature photography is to take in the scenery before you begin snapping shots willy-nilly. This will give you a feel for the scenes you want to capture. Once you have an idea of a few photos you’d like to get, set up for them and take your time with each one. The intention behind your images will show through when you get home to view them.