English ivy is a determined escape artist. It sneaks under garden fences while no one is looking to set up house in neglected or forgotten places, then starts working on its next trick. It takes a decade or so for Hedera helix to mature enough to flower, so it climbs skyward in the meantime, zipping up trees and sewing them into straitjackets and eventually dispersing its seeds unheeded from high off the ground.
Pictured here is a corner of Old Firehouse Road in Truro where a mature patch of English ivy has engulfed a stand of pitch pines and the understory beneath it. If you don’t have the time to make your own patch of ivy disappear completely, clipping the vine at the base of a tree will at least kill off the tower and its drupes, preventing hungry winter birds from potentially helping Hedera helix get even farther into the landscape.