I was looking for information on why the leaves turned brown and how to fix it when I found the article on planting a clematis next to a tree. In this article, the author suggests planting another climbing vine like IVY by the tree for the clematis to climb. English ivy is not only invasive but KILLS THE TREE! Did I miss something? Is there another type of ivy that climbs but doesn’t kill the tree? Thanks Lisa
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Thank you for sending us your gardening question. English ivy can indeed be damaging to the tree, although the variegated form tends to be less aggressive. If you wish to use this method for supporting your clematis, consider replacing the ivy with a native vine. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is taller and less dense than English ivy, but looks beautiful under
trees. It will grow up trees without harming them because it is deciduous. Birds love the berries. It is aggressive, so
be sure to put it in a place that you don’t mind it spreading.
-Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) and native honeysuckle
(Lonicera sempervirens) are not invasive, and they are all sources of nectar for pollinators and hummingbirds. The
red berries of the native honeysuckle feed birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. You can also use fishing line on the tree to support your clematis.
Here are a couple of articles you might find helpful:
Please let us know if you have any other gardening questions and happy gardening!
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