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English Ivy

June 2012

QuestionI have a lot behind my home that is being taken over by English Ivy. It is taking over my fence and trees just beyond my back yard. Is there anything that will kill this stuff? I keep pulling it and cutting it off my fence-which is a never ending battle. I tried glyphosate twice once normal strength and once triple strength to no effect. Is there anything that I can use that will kill it. I do not want it to kill the trees behind my home, and I am tired of the constant fight to keep it out of my yard. Any advice would be appreciated.

 AnswerThis is why I warn people, make sure you want it BEFORE you plant it. English ivy has a very waxy coating on the leaves which helps to repel herbicide damage. I would cut it back as severely as possible and then use a weed-eater or lawn mower to damage the remaining leaves before you spray with a herbicide like Round-up. Breaking up the outer waxy layer will allow the herbicide to penetrate. Late summer to early fall would be the best time to do this as it will store more of the chemical in the root system. I seriously doubt one application will totally kill it, but over time, you can get rid of it.

October 2008

QuestionDoes English ivy harm trees when it climbs up the trunk?


AnswerIvy in and of itself will not hurt a tree if it is kept relegated to the trunk. The problem occurs if the ivy is left to grow unchecked. Then the vines grow up and out on the limbs. The added weight, especially during a wind, ice or snow storm, can lead to limb breakage. Heavy vines also compete for sunlight. If you like the look of ivy on a tree, keep it only on the trunk. It would be easier to maintain if you never had it start growing in the first place.