Behind my new house (zone 6) there is a huge maple, probably 5-6 feet in
diameter, which the previous owners allowed to be swamped by english ivy.
It had gotten probably 20 feet up the tree, and some of the vines were two
inches in diameter.
I have cut the ivy down and pulled up as many roots as possible (realizing
that new shoots may be coming back for some time). Should I do anything
else to help the tree?
Some of the bark at the base of the tree appears to have been rotted where
the thickest vines started climbing, although the rot doesn't appear to be
deep or wide.
The roots were getting swamped by a dense mat of ivy roots, runners, and
thatchy pulp about 6 inches deep. I know that in general trees don't like
additional cover over their roots.
I'm guessing that from time to time someone went over the patch with a
lawnmower but did nothing to actually uproot the ivy. I've pulled out the
mat about a foot from the trunk but I'm wondering how much more I should
yank it out -- it extends probably 4 feet from the trunk, so I'm guessing
it covers 100+ square feet.
Would it make more sense to just cut and yank out the ivy as it reappears
and let the roots starve to death, then let the mat slowly decompose, or is
more active removal wise? I know that ivy roots are very resistant to rot,
so I'm reluctant to let nature run its course if that means smothering the
roots of this tree.