Lower Merion is home to vast numbers of old and newer trees. The wonderful tree canopy in our township provides shelter for animals and shade for people. Trees have a positive effect on our health, homes, drinking water and air quality. Trees have been shown to significantly increase property values. They reduce water runoff and erosion. Trees save energy through massive cooling effects. Trees supply oxygen and filter the air. By absorbing sounds, trees even reduce noise pollution.
In the past decade, the Lower Merion tree canopy has been severely stressed for a number of reasons, including the rapid growth of invasive vines. In order to help preserve our precious tree resource, you should be diligent about removing vines from all trees on your property. If you love vines, then keep them highly pruned on a trellis or a wall.
This winter, we have seen that vines can quickly become heavy with ice and snow, causing broken limbs and falling trees. Vines that wrap around trees and branches will choke young and old growth alike. Vines climb and cover trees, blocking sunlight and eventually leading to tree death. Even vines that do not twine can be fatal. For example, many trees in Lower Merion are wrapped with English Ivy. This non-native and invasive evergreen vine covers and kills trees. As ground cover, ivy chokes out other plants and provides soggy soil for mosquito breeding.
So please … Save our Trees. Remove the Vines.
For information on how to remove vines, visit http://phillywatersheds.org/doc/9-Invasive%20Species_English%20Ivy.pdf.
The Lower Merion Township website has useful information about the impact of vines on trees. Visit www.lowermerion.org.
This old growth tree in Wynnewood is dead and covered in English Ivy. The ivy gradually overwhelmed the whole tree.
Submitted by WCA Member: Matt Rieke