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removing English Ivy

 
Jay Angler
Posts: 121
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Hi all,

We recently added the adjoining property to our own and it is badly invaded with English Ivy. The local opinion being spread is that the ivy can't be composted or chip/shredded when it's removed, but has to be burned or trucked to the municipal yard (at great expense). There's got to be a better way? All suggestions welcome. We're in the PNW - thin soil, drought in the summer and wet all winter.

Thanks
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 1885
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THe first thing that I would do is to cut a ring a round each tree to make sure that the ivy does not grow up the tree. It will die eventually. It does regrow from roots, but I think there has to be a better way than to pay. The ivy is full of nutrients and I believe allelopathic chemicals. Goats might eat it. Little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you? (Song)

We have bad ivy here too.

Rent or borrow a goat!
John S
PDX OR
 
Tim Wells
Posts: 119
Location: Essex, England, 51 deg
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It's easier to change your mind about ivy than to remove it.

Great habitat and nectar source for wildlife.

Biomass accumulation. I chop and drop, it's fine as surface mulch.

Often dominates a fence line and supports old rotten fences. If you remove the ivy the fence will collapse. Just cloud prune the ivy to the fence to form a living barrier, prunings as mulch.

Ivy wont kill a tree. It will dominate a weak tree. Agree just cut at base once a year.

Do remove it from buildings unless building is old when prob best left to keep building intact like the fence. It protects the fence/ wall.
 
Michael Djernes
Posts: 2
Location: "Rain Shadow" Maritime Western WA, USDA Zone 8b
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John Saltveit wrote:THe first thing that I would do is to cut a ring a round each tree to make sure that the ivy does not grow up the tree. It will die eventually. It does regrow from roots, but I think there has to be a better way than to pay. The ivy is full of nutrients and I believe allelopathic chemicals. Goats might eat it. Little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you? (Song)

We have bad ivy here too.

Rent or borrow a goat!
John S
PDX OR



Exactly! One of our properties south of Seattle had multiple trees overgrown with ivy to the point that the trees were dying. We hired a "goat guy" to deal with the ivy. His crew came in and cut the ivy vines in a ring around each tree to kill growth above that point. They then put up temporary fencing and sectioned off portions of the lot. Next he brought in a few dozen goats and let them happily eat the ivy. Within a week or two all but the ivy stalks near the ground were gone. These were then easily mowed. During this time we became popular with the school buses as they would stop for a few minutes on their routes to let the kids watch the goats eat.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
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Hello Jay,

By all means...if you do not like Ivy (Hedera sp) an introduced species, you can cut at base (carefully) there by weakening and/or killing the plant. Goats have been used effectively as well.

I would note that most "climbing vines" do not kill the "armature true" usually or even weaken it...unless the tree is very old and already stressed. There are tropical Ficus and a few others that are parasitic and kill host armature trees. I would also not that even old architecture is not directly damaged by vines in most cases.

I feel one must way not only personal aesthetics, but habitat loss.

If the "looks" of ivy aren't of value to a client, I just monitor the grow patterns and perhaps prune and shape to the desired perspective.

Regards,

j

FYI: if interested here at Ivy.org.
 
Matu Collins
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Posts: 1967
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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When I have vines I want to dispose of and I'm concerned about regrowth I ferment then. Stick em in a bucket with some water and soak till funky. The nutrients stay on site, no burning necessary.

 
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