Does this look like a peaceful scene? It’s not, at least not for the trees. That’s English Ivy, one of our worst invasives. It’s a bit like kudzu, though it doesn’t grow as fast. Because it can grow in deep shade, it’s capable of invading mature forest. It grows up trees and fills their crowns with extra leaves, weakening them and eventually causing them to blow down in winter storms, when they normally wouldn’t have any leaves to catch the wind.

I’ve been thinking about how to photograph invasives for years, but it’s hard to find an image that conveys the sense of menace that I’d like. This one is moderately successful at that, at least for me. I like the way it looks like a wall of contorted shapes, with the ivy as a dark mass crawling over it.


4 responses

  1. great contrast!

    March 1, 2012 at 4:24 am

  2. Chris

    It looks creepy to me, but maybe that’s just how i feel about English Ivy. Sometimes I wonder about English Ivy. I can understand that if you have a invasive fish or something, it would be really hard to get rid of. But ivy is a plant, and (unlike blackberrys) it is fairly easy to kill: can’t you just cut it off at the base? It seems like with a concerted effort you could kill it off, or at least set it back 20 years.

    March 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    • People are trying to combat it, but there’s a lot of it and limited time and money. I see many places in parks where it’s been severed at the base, and that does kill the vines, but it will come back if you don’t dig it up and vigilantly monitor for regrowth (I spent a day with a group doing this). Basically, people are inconsistent in their efforts, but the ivy is not.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

  3. Pingback: Ivy in the Wind « Franz Amador's Photoblog

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