epiphyte

seydouxAugust 8, 2013

what is this epiphyte that is growing on several trees?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Do you mean the white spots on the leaf?
If so, possibly powdery mildew. But can't see enough detail to be certain.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

An epiphyte is a non parasitic plant that grows on another plant, a vine that grows up a tree without using nutrients from the tree or causing the death of the tree. It can be difficult to identify some of these from just one picture of a leaf, while others are very easily identified.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 6:25AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Yes, I know that. But don't know if OP did.

Always helps to have at least a branch, better yet accompanied by an image of the plant in situ.

edit:
Uh oh. Now I see the comment that it's growing on several trees. (sigh)

Ivy?

This post was edited by jean001a on Fri, Aug 9, 13 at 19:10

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 7:08PM
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seydoux

branch image. It is not an ivy I know, but this property has a lot of plants I have never seen. this plant likes the elm, the hickory and the Magnolia and avoids all of the rest. and that is several acres of trees! There is a lot of ivy on the property, but it does not seem so particular.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I'd guess Hedera helix, from seeing so little of it, if it's possible to have mature plants in PA. The leaves morph to that shape, flowers appear.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 11:15AM
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seydoux

thank you that is what it is. I would say it is mature it goes 40 ft up the tree.I tried cutting the stems to no avail, I think it is singing the swan song for the magnolia

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:58PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Sorry to hear that! In terms of English ivy, mature means when the leaves change shape and it makes flowers/berries.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 5:37PM
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lisanti07028(z6NJ)

My husband got the ivy off of two trees in our yard. He used clippers, big loppers, and a screwdriver. It took him about 8 hours to do the two trees, but it can be done. You only have to sever the main stem, and then the stuff on the trees will die. It looked weird for a couple of years, and then what was left of the vines that went to the top of the trees finally fell off. It's worth the effort, if only to stop the baby ivies that will show up your yard when the birds eat the berries.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 6:39PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Ivy isn't an epiphyte. It simply uses the tree for support.

Ivy isn't a parasite. It doesn't suck the life out of another plant.

Ivy can kill another plant by shading it out or by toppling it with the excess weight.

Don't know what you did when you cut it.
The best method is this:
1. sever the stem at 3 to 4 feet.
2. Then make another cut about 2 feet higher and remove that intervening piece of stem. (If you don't have an air gap between the upper & lower stems, the stems can graft -- another words, the cut failed.)
3. Immediately paint full strength triclopyr (broad leaf herbicide that works well on woodies such as ivy) on the lower cut surface. The chemical will move into the roots and weaken the plant.
4. You may need to repeat the cut & paint Rx some months later.

The above ground part will take a while to die but, in the meantime it is only clinging to the tree rather than damaging it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 6:52PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Ivy, Hedera helix, fits all of the criteria to be an epiphyte. a broad definition of an epiphyte is any plant that grows on another but does not depend on the host plant for water of nutrients. A less broad definition would include only tropical such as orchids.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 7:57AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Epiphytes don't have roots in soil.

Epiphytes gain the nutrient elements from rainfall as well as poops (such as bird & insect yuck) and decomposing organic matter( leaf litter). Rainfall washes all that past the epiphyte's roots.

Examples of epiphytes, also called air plants, are some ferns, some bromeliads and some tropical orchids.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Really old definitions of epiphytes did limit them to that but today most people include any plant that uses another for support but not nutrients.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 7:50AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Really old definitions of epiphytes did limit them to that but today most people include any plant that uses another for support but not nutrients.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 7:51AM
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