I Won!  

Neighbor Amy pointed out that the ivy should be removed from the old oak tree, and I knew she was right.  A year or so ago John took care of it, with one or both of our grandsons, as I remember.  The day Amy commented on it, we could see one area where the thick, healthy leaves reached the second or third level of branches.  I cut the stems about waist high and pulled the insidious vines both ways.  You don’t need to tell me it’s not a victory, only a truce.  However, if the present leaves turn brown, I shall wallow in temporary satisfaction.

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Two hundred year old oak tree