English ivy was brought to North America by European settlers for ornamental purposes. According to the Washington Native Plant Society, English ivy has no natural predators or pests to keep it in check. Allowing the plant to grow on your trees and up the walls of your home, although pretty to look at, may be destructive to your home and property. Your Massachusetts homeowners insurance may not cover damage from ivy; therefore it may be best to keep the ivy away from your home and trees.
English ivy growing on your house may provide cover for insects and small animals allowing them to invade your home. It may creep under wood boards and siding loosening it and allowing moisture to infiltrate. This can result in warping, splitting and leaks. Ivy growing on brick walls and chimneys may cause mildew, rot and deterioration.
When growing on trees, ivy may add weight to limbs and reduce air flow around the trunk, eventually choking the trees out. It may cause the trees to succumb to wind stress and disease, and may also strangle them around their base reducing the flow of nutrients from the ground up into the limbs.
You may want to talk to your agent to find out the kinds of damages your Massachusetts homeowners insurance covers, and as lovely as ivy may be, you may want to try to keep it isolated in one particular area of your yard instead of letting it take over your property.*