Invasive Species Profiles


English Ivy (Hedera helix)


  • Native to Europe and Asia
  • Evergreen vine , waxy leaves are 5-10 cm long
  • Juvenile leaves are five-lobed, adult are unlobed
  • Can grow up to 20-30 m high
  • Usually found growing up tree trunks and covering the forest floor in closed-canopy forests around the Lower Mainland.
Consequences of Invasion
  • Outcompetes native plants
    • Grows very quickly
    • Grows year round
    • Smothers other plants
  • Causes damage to trees and manmade structures
    • Kills trees by ringing them
    • Dense heavy mats on branches topple trees
    • Added weight on manmade structures accelerates deterioration
Prescription for Control
  • Pull by hand
  • Sections of ivy found climbing a tree should be made a priority for removal
  • Vines should be cut at breast height and removed to the ground
  • Do NOT pull ivy from higher sections of trees as it can pull down large tree branches
  • Replant with native shrubs such as salal, kinnikinnick, piggy-back plant and bunchberry, or other non-invasive plants
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