Out of Control: How to Get Rid of Ivy (For Good)

Last update: 3 months ago

how to get rid of ivy

Hedera, which we commonly refer to as English Ivy (pl. Ivies), is a family of around 20 species of evergreen perennial plants. Depending on their surroundings, these woody plants can be both ground creeping or climbing nearby trees, rocks, buildings, and pretty much anything they can lay their stems on.

Given a solid base, the ivy has the ability to crawl up and reach heights of more that 30m. On ground level it rarely exceeds ½ feet in height. As gorgeous as this chef-d’œuvre of nature is, it can still cause mischief around your property if left unattended.

So here’s our handy guide on how to get rid of common ivy.

The dark side of common ivy

Here in the UK, English Ivy is native and may not be as invasive as it is in other countries, but it can still exhibit invasive behavior under certain conditions and in specific environments.

In areas with mild temperatures and consistent moisture, it tends to be more invasive. The type of soil also plays a role, with nutrient-rich soils supporting rapid spread. Furthermore, English Ivy’s shade tolerance allows it to thrive in areas with limited sunlight, outcompeting other plants. So, how damaging is ivy?

Well, when English Ivy is planted in gardens or near natural habitats, it can escape cultivation and become invasive in adjacent ecosystems. It competes with garden plants for essential resources like sunlight, water, and nutrients, often resulting in the weakening or death of desirable garden species. Also when it climbs trees, its added weight and density can lead to weakened branches, making them more susceptible to diseases and structural damage.

The ivy’s dense foliage provides a haven for pests like rodents and insects, thereby attracting unwanted wildlife to your property. Furthermore, contact with Ivy leaves or sap may lead to skin irritations and allergic reactions, especially among individuals sensitive to plants.

Last but not least, you should know that English Ivy supports itself with aerial roots, and when these penetrate cracks or joints in structures, they may cause structural damage.The only good thing is, Ivy’s berries can attract wildlife such as birds, bats, butterflies, moths, bees, and wasps, but that only when it’s not invasive.

How to identify English ivy

While English Ivy is a beautiful addition to any garden, it’s important to differentiate it from other similar plants that may be less welcome. Here’s how to identify English Ivy:

  • Leaves – English Ivy has leaves that are typically grouped in groups of three. Remember the phrase, ‘Leaves of three, let it be’;
  • Growth Patterns – Although English Ivy tends to climb, it can also spread in various directions. It’s adaptable and can grow as a ground cover or climb surfaces;
  • Colour – English Ivy may not always be green; it can exhibit reddish or other variations;
  • Fruits – English Ivy bears distinct white, translucent fruits, which can be a distinguishing feature.

How to kill ivy

Your best bet to completely eradicate invasive ivy involves the use of chemicals and about a month’s time for this method to take effect. Before you commence the process, be sure to have the following supplies at hand:

  • Rubber gardening gloves (£2 – £10)
  • Garden shears (£5 – £20)
  • Pruning saw for thicker ivy vines, if any (£10 – £20)
  • Spray bottle or sprayer (£10 – £20)
  • Weed killer of your choice (£20 – £30)
  • Long sleeves, long pants and boots (£5 – £20)
  • Strong patience (priceless)

Got them all? Good, let’s move onto the steps to kill ivy.

Disclaimer: Pregnant women should stay away from the garden after it has been treated with commercial weed killer. Going through your garden in a fast manner should not pose any complication for your pregnancy, because your lungs and placenta will filter out the toxins. Even so, we recommend you have no contact with the fumes as results from different products could prove unpredictable.

Here are the steps to get rid of ground covering ivy:


Step 1. Find and mark all the plant’s base roots.

Step 2. Leave around 1-2 feet worth of ivy coming from the main roots untreated, for later.

Step 3. Start cutting the ivy in patterns, simultaneously pulling out each section.

Step 4. Pile up everything you’ve cut to dispose of it after the chemical treatment.

Step 5. Spray the freshly cut vines and remaining leaves (from Step 2) with a weed killer of your choice.

Step 6. Repeat this process every few weeks until the ivy is defeated for good.

Here’s how to kill climbing ivy on trees:


Step 1. Cut its vines at waist level 3-4 feet above tree trunk base with the garden shears, all around.

Step 2. Leave the ivy that remains on the tree to dry out and die off within a month or so. Do not pull the vines unless you’re sure they are dead. Otherwise, you will damage the tree’s bark.

Step 3. Remove as much ivy roots as you can around the trunk by hand, leaving a safe zone of at least 3-4 feet radius. This way you can act fast if new ivy vines emerge.

Step 4. For what’s left on the ground, apply the same procedure as killing ground creeping ivy.

Dangers of removing ivy from trees – Never try to rip off the ivy from your trees. Ivy sticks to everything it can climb, including trees, so pulling will rip the bark of the tree. A split bark is more susceptible to disease and pests.

Follow the steps below to remove ivy from walls:


Step 1. Pull out each vine gently to prevent damaging the wall.

Step 2. Leave any leftovers to dry out with time, so they could become easier to remove.

Step 3. Apply weed killer to the ivy’s ground roots to prevent it from growing back again.

Step 4. Scrape off remaining rootlets and tendrils with a steel brush. For wooden house exterior and wooden fences use a sander instead.

Home remedy alternatives

Not a fan of chemistry, eh? No worries, we got you covered. Here are 3 non-toxic, Eco-friendly methods to deal with overgrown ivy. Note that these require time, usually months, before you can see any positive outcome.

The good ol’ white vinegar method

Arm yourself with a garden sprayer or a regular spray bottle. Fill in the container with a mixture of 80% water and 20% white vinegar. Spray the ivy plants thoroughly, making sure you don’t affect any other plants you don’t want to get rid of. Wait for a couple of days and inspect the result of your efforts. Pull out and remove any dead ivy and re-apply the same solution as much as needed.

Duct tape, table salt, and water

This trick is suitable for treating thicker vines. Make a fresh cut on each one using your garden clippers, wrap them around with duct tape to form something like a cup. Pour ¾ table salt in each cup and apply a bit of water. This way you attack the ivy’s vascular system and the plant should be completely dried out within a couple of months.

Sheet mulching

Create thick layers of mulch by using old newspapers, cardboard, dead leaves or grass, or other similar matter, and place them on top of the area where ivy grows. Your goal here is to suffocate the ivy, preventing it from receiving its life-sustaining resources like light, water, and air. As for those mulch materials, they are biodegradable, meaning they will decompose with time and become one with the soil.

Call the professionals

In some cases, ivy can get out of hand and completely cover your whole fence, trees, or walls. In such cases, it is best to consult a professional gardener and we at Fantastic Gardeners are happy to help. Get in touch with us to book yourself an ivy removal service.

Need help removing the ivy from your garden?

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Did you like this guide? What are your tips and tricks to battling ivy – when it’s not welcomed in your garden? We’d love to hear your take on this matter in the comments below.

74 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy; a kid will eat ivy too, wouldn’t you?

  • My neighbour planted ivy 2 or 3years ago, it’s taking over my garden, and I’m thinking of killing it off, . He never said a word about it am I in my rights,

    • Hello Trevor,

      When it comes to neighbours being negligent about the consequences from their unruly garden, you can see if you have the legal rights to get in touch with authorities, if you don’t manage to get a calm talk with the aforementioned neighbour. He should understand the situation, but if the ivy is causing too much trouble, you have other options. We’re going to cite Neighbouring Lands Act here. If you:

      1) have previously put your requests in writing to your neighbour;

      2) have checked all mortgages /insurances/credit cards /union memberships for legal expenses cover;

      3) experience that your neighbour is effectively causing legal nuisance, damage and trespass;

      then you should be able to get permission under the aforementioned law.

      So in case you won’t be able to solve this dispute without involving authorities, you should formally send the neighbour a Letter of Notice, which entails the full issue and the solution needed to be taken. If the neighbour continues to not take care of the ivy, it’s possible that he will cover the subsequent cost of removal/restriction.

      You can approach citizen advice bureau if things get out of hand but we advise before everything else to try and have a formal talk with the neighbour, informing him of your civil rights.

      Good luck!

    • Who in their right mind PLANTS ivy on purpose?? I say if its in your yard you can do what you want to it.

        • White vinegar comes in varying strenths, & the strong stuff may be purchased online. Yet to go there, myself.

      • Exactly. Ivy is an invasive plant and cause damage.
        I am just about to kill my neighbour’s ivy with white vinegar growing over my side of the fence. I am planting roses,- and ivy can definitely not be a companion for my well beloved roses

      • That would be me. Wanted a nice ground cover in a shady area. 15 years later… I’m really sorry I did.

        • My [idiot] landscape architect put that as ground cover, within three years I spent thousands to get rid of it. Now my neighbour’s ivy encroaching my land at the back. Unreasonable neighbour even claimed mu land and now we are in court to battle it out. The council who was visiting me on unfounded complaint from the neighbour only to apologise to me for acting on false complaints but do not want to know the nuisance ivy causing to my property or him stealing my land. I live on my own Where do I go from here?

          • Sounds like you’re having some serious trouble Victoria. You’ll have to deal with this matter the legal way.

        • I want to kill off ivy
          Is the chemical to get rid of the ivy bad for animals
          As I have a dog and he has the run of the garden
          I don’t want anything that will harm my dog

      • I’m in ga, and I have overhanging limbs from my neighbors yard. They are headed to my roof. I’m going to trim them as is my right in ga. I’d even remove these trees if my neighbor was willing to be helpful. Check state, county laws in your area, most states allow removal of trees, invasive plants from neighbors yard. Good luck!!

      • Ugh…. the very word..ivy… makes me crazy. I hate the stuff. My mother actually did plant the stuff years and years ago but by then she had stopped working outside the home other than in the garden… she practically lived out there.. now I know why. I now live here and am I a battle for my soul with this ivy. I like the idea of white vinegar. That sounds safer….ivy…geeze……

    • 1. Are there roots in your garden?
      Then you can kill any plant growing from root in your garden.
      2. Is it growing over into your garden?
      You can cut back anything that is growing over into your garden. I’d be wary if it was a prized tree etc as harsh cutting can damage if not done right time or appropriately but you’re not gonna kill ivy on his side by giving it a major trim… Sadly..

    • Are my neighbors planted this ivory and it’s up my trees my fence the grown can I ask them to get rid of it it breaking my fence covering my grown all over its all til ?

    • Hello trevor,
      Tell him it is causing a nuisance in your garden. By law he MUST abate the nuisance;

    • Know your post is a few years old now, but wondering if you did get to rid your neighbours Ivy growing into your garden?

      As I’ve still the same problem though not as bad from a neighbour’s rapid Ivy growth through from our adjoining backs of gardens.

      Ironically some years ago she finally had hers removed as it was taking over all her shrubs in the end, though our adjoining back fence some was missed as she has large shrubs as her view. So, yet another Springtime I’m to get round to pulling out still her Ivy and prickle weeds grown into my back flower beds.

      It was in awful state though when I moved here 18years ago, of though I’ve a really large garden, her Ivy had spread all over mine, even to other end of around and up one of my garden tree’s I’d inherited.
      Took me years to destroy her Ivy effecting my Birch tree’s bark etc.

      She’s not the type of nice neighbour you can even mention anything too either…….but always find a Mrs.Bucket (of Keeping Up Appearances tv series) along any streets 😉

  • All information I have looked for I have found easily. Although I live in sw France your website has helped me greatly in starting to develop a new garden. I am sure I will visit your website many more times for the help and support it has given me so far.

    • Thank you very much for the kind words! And remember – there are no gardening mistakes, only experiments!

  • How can you continue to advocate the use of Roundup when it is classified as a carcinogen by WHO? In any case, this kind of slash and burn approach to gardening is counterproductive. Roundup kills other plants (contrary to Monsanto’s propaganda) and is damaging to all wildlife as well as humans.Pets and young children in gardens are at risk. We must begin to treat our planet with more respect, but also more sense. The use of chemicals is destroying our soil so that we will not be able to grow anything.

    • @Susan Greaves

      “…and is damaging to all wildlife as well as humans.” Ummm, citation needed?

      Hint: You won’t find any.

      Perhaps, the guys behind this blog post did their research on the stuff and that’s why they can advocate its use. From what you’re saying, however, I can only conclude that you haven’t done yours. Worry not, I am here to help you!

      The WHO did a press release on The Lancet claiming that Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) was “probably carcinogenic”. By the way according to them being a barber or a fry cook is also “probably carcinogenic”. But I digress.

      First, let me point out that NUMEROUS national and international agencies have reviewed Glyphosate and the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) is the only one to conclude the chemical is “probably carcinogenic”. And that only happened in the press release.

      If you actually want to know your facts rather than blindly believe press you can simply READ the full monograph of the WHO’s 2006 report on Glyphosate.

      There are SERIOUS discrepancies between the two.

      The actual monograph doesn’t state that glyphosate can be connected to the development of cancer.

      In fact, it literally states the opposite.

      It is rather intriguing why the WHO found it appropriate to publicly announce otherwise. I will give you a few examples and links for you to check for yourself:

      The Lance press release (you’d have to register an account to access it): https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(15)70134-8/abstract

      The actual full monograph by the WHO, reviewing Glyphosate (page 95 to 171):
      http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/43624/9241665203_eng.pdf

      Here it goes.

      “In male CD-1 mice, glyphosate induced a positive trend in the incidence of a rare tumour, renal tubule carcinoma”. That’s a citation from the press release.

      First off let me point something out. “Positive trend” in scientific terms does not mean a significant effect, which is the term being used for a definitive causation. Let’s further review the study, however:

      There were 50 male and 50 female mice in total. They were given Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) in varying doses in water over the course of the next 24 months. In the end 5 of the mice have developed the rare tumour. Researches looked back and noted that this kind of a tumour should only appear in 1 out of 725 mice. So far it’s convincing, right?

      Well, here’s the problem:

      1. One of the mice that had developed the tumour was in the control group (control group is the group in which the subjects do not participate in the experiment, or in this case were NOT given the Glyphosate).

      2. The Researches that did the test clearly point out that the statistical method used “often gives incorrect results”. That’s a citation from the actual paper.

      Here’s a question for you: Why were they okay with assigning the test group’s development of cancer to Glyphosate, but the one in the control group to chance (if one in 725 mice develops this type of cancer, which is 0.14%)?

      This is one of the many “free interpretations” that the WHO did, based on the overall absurdly insufficient evidence they chose to cite in their press statement.

      Here’s what the WHO 2006 report clearly states on the subject, by the way:

      “In conclusion, administration of glyphosate to CD-1 mice for 104 weeks produced no signs of carcinogenic potential at any dose. The NOAEL was 1000mg/kg BW per day, the highest dose tested (Atkinson et al., 1993a).”.

      So how come they find it convenient to ignore that conclusion and claim otherwise in the press?

      The very next sentence in the Lancet report is the following “A second study reported a positive trend for haemangiosarcoma in male mice”.

      However, here’s what the 2006 report had to say about that study:

      “Owing to the lack of a dose-response relationship, the lack of statistical significance and the fact that the incidences recorded in this study fell within the historical ranges for controls, these changes are not considered to be caused by administration of glyphosate”.

      I mean, what?

      Let’s proceed to another press release claim with 0 sufficient evidence:

      “Glyphosate increased pancreatic islet-cell adenoma in male rats in two studies.”

      But then again, here’s what the full monograph is ACTUALLY saying:

      “The only pancreatic islet cell carcinoma found in this study occurred in a male in the control group, thus indicating a lack of treatment-induced neoplastic progression. Taken together, the data support the conclusion that the occurrence of pancreatic islet cell adenomas in male rats was spontaneous in origin and unrelated to administration of glyphosate.”

      The contradictions go on and on. But enough about rats and mice. What about humans, right?

      The Lancet press release stated that three previous studies have reported increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to glyphosate exposure. Well, guess what the full monograph actually said about these studies? Here it is:

      “However, the results of these studies do not meet generally accepted criteria from the epidemiology literature for determining causal relationships. Generally, the associations were rather weak and rarely statistically significant.“

      Only one of the studies suggested a positive relationship between this type of cancer and glyphosate but only 36 individuals were used in the data. That number is way too small to be statistically significant.

      Are you curious if there is study available with larger sample out there? If yes, you’re in luck!

      The AHS (Agricultural Health Study). That’s a cohort study. The sample here is 15 000 exposed subjects versus 13 000 non-exposed subjects. Both studies are from the same author, too! No cherry-picking here!

      What the motives of the WHO were for their grotesque distortion of information in front of the public, I have no clue to. But I beg of you this – do your research before accusing anyone of anything. The guys that wrote that blog post are in their right to encourage using Roundup, especially when it comes to a notorious menace like the common ivy.

      Regards, Kevin Nash

      • Hi Kevin

        Are there not TWO reports being referred to in the text you quote. One of which was conducted in 1993 by Atkinson and others, the other being carried out in 2006 by WHO. And when they state that there is no link between the chemicals and cancer are they not referring to the 1993 report?? I would trust the 2006 report that suggests a link. Also you seem to dismiss the WHO for saying fried food is linked to cancer, I thought that was fairly mainstream thinking now. Having read what you have shown us, I choose to trust the 2006 report not the 1993 and won’t be using Roundup. Put it like this, why take any risk whatsoever?

        Chris

        • When it comes down to it, doesn’t everything get labelled as a cause of cancer at some time or other? If you took notice of everything that is claimed in reports (even from good sources) and newspapers we’d have to give up everything but distilled water (and, no doubt, someone will find something wrong with that at some point). Fortunately the good news is that most of it is just alarmist nonsense that gets contradicted later (even the WHO are guilty of this) – but it does leave us unsure of anything.
          As for the issues of weedkillers – most of us have little choice but to use them at times. Over 30+ years I’ve managed unruly gardens and used various weedkillers without ill effect (on me!). I seriously doubt that Roundup is a problem for anyone if used according to instructions.

      • @Kevin Nash
        Wow – thank you! It must have taken ages to put all that info together, much appreciated.

      • O want to see restrictions on the sales Of Ivy and tree’s that all cause damage with anxiety to those who face these awfull nuisance.

    • If we listened to idiots like you we would have starved to death years ago. First off it has been listed as a “PROBABLE” carcinogen, that your first lie. Your second lie is that Monsanto claims it doesn’t kill other plants, it’s called a NON SELECTIVE HERBICIDE this means it kills every plant it touches. And hear this, I don’t like monsanto and I don’t like poison but we must be honest or we lose all credibility as you have here.

  • I’m not even a keen gardener and absolutely loved your reply. So many people base their judgements upon absurdly poor research.
    Well done Kevin Nash

  • We just moved into a lovely home with LOTS of ivy climbing up numerous trees and in and around many shrubs. Same methods used here? Don’t want to kill trees or bushes but can tell the trees are suffering. I’m extreme cases (I’m telling you theres A LOT of it!) do professionals do anything different than prescribed above? We are currently In snow and winter but want to get a handle on this ASAP!

    • What i have learned in battle with a crepe myrtle: a fresh cut will take the vinegar or whatever to the root, itself.

      • Are you saying if you cut through Ivy seems and sprays white vinegar it kills it down to its earth roots no matter how much growths is on neighbour’s fence. Is white vinegar the clear vinegar in supermarkets. Not cider vinegar that is used for cleaning. I want Ivy and certain problem larger trees to be restricted from sales to Ignorant person’s. Only be self too competant experts in agriculture.

  • We moved into our lovely house last summer and the first task I set myself was to claim back the gable end of our house. It was covered in ivy. Following the advice of several websites, I proceeded to cut the thick main stems and sprayed the whole wall covered with ivy with a strong batch of weedkiller.
    I am happy to say after the leaves started to brown off over a period of weeks I was able to tease the whole blanket of ivy from the end of my house in two whopping sections. Still slowly tackling the hefty root, but I will preserve. Patience is key.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Craig! Good luck with the rest of it!

  • I have Ivy growing behind my green house (which was in situ when we moved in) the gap is to small to get to the roots any solutions gratefully received

    • Hey Tracey, you can still try and remove any parts of the plant you see, cut off the roots from the leaves. It will still be there, but at least you will have had cut off the source of light. Regards, Kal

  • Wow – ‘ivy can harbour pests such as birds, bats and insects’. Pests? Really? Why don’t you just pave over your garden and be done with it? Anytime your get some wildlife you can nuke em with chemicals.

    Ivy harbours huge amounts of wildlife. Bees depend on its nectar rich flowers in winter, birds feed on its berries in autumn, and it harbours huge amounts of beneficial insects and animals. Are you really so scared of any bio-diversity? Ivy is a wonderful indigenous plant. If you must get rid of it then please don’t do so with chemicals – they have devastating affects on the bugs that need to be sharing your garden. Hedgehogs and birds then eat the nuked bugs giving them a slow painful death

    • Thank you for standing up for diversity like good husbandry be thankful that nature allows us to coexist. When we forget this we end up destroying that which is precious. Nature can fight back to hence COVID.I came on here after a day clearing ivy from part of my property by hand and yes it was very hard work I did not want to kill things unnecessarily in the garden.So having read everything here will continue a bit more hard work tomorrow.

  • I have a lot of ivy on a very old stone wall that is boundary between my property and a neglected grove on the other side. There is a lot of ivy on the wall, mostly the other side, and coming over the top.
    I have cut off a lot of the heaviest overgrowth. I will cut as much of the heavier stems as I can.
    Would taking a strimmer to the Ivy that is left tightest to the wall, and continually removing any leaves eventually suffocate the plant; i.e. would it have the same effect as sheet mulching?
    The wall is getting fragile, so I can’t be too aggressive.

    Thanks.

  • I read the WHO report cited. I can’t conclude whether Roundup is disease-causing but the WHO report is not helpful. First, most of the proper statistical work involved mice. I’m not a mouse. Second, most of the reports began by carefully determining the dosage. When you use this stuff in your garden you have no idea what your dosage is—you’re not measuring it by any valid method, and probably could not do so even if you wanted to. Also, the WHO report does not cover possible harm it valuable or useful plants or animals. There are other ways to kill weeds. Why bother to use expensive chemical products that have not really been properly evaluated? You have to keep in mind that the chemical industry generally regards a product as safe as long as it has not been proven harmful. In general, people need to know that a product has been proven safe before it is prudent to use it. This philosophical gap is difficult to bridge.

  • Very valuable comment Nick. I think everyone needs to be seriously thinking about the huge decline in insect life before spraying chemicals. We are in the process of turning our half acre of gardens into a wildlife haven. We manually pull the weeds in the yard now and take great care to encourage insect life. We are lucky enough to have a wild honey bee hive, bats and an abundance of insect life here. I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed the garden so much.

    • I work as a volunteer at Royal Gunpowder Mills, 174 acres. There are huge trees that have been killed stone dead by ivy. In some cases the ivy stems are around ten inches thick.

  • there are always for and against any ivy killer stuff–
    The article states different ways to do the job- informative but the decision is yours which method to use

    We have massive problem with ivy from inconsiderate neighbour. He planted ivy and last 20 years it is a nuisance to either side of the neighbours –
    causing damage to the fence and encroaching our gardens – we have two problems from this neighbour IVY and Dog doing job in our gardens. Very inconsiderate neighbour but we both sides neighbour battle on. Not complained to the council yet…. Don’t like unpleasantness and when she shoots her mouth G.. I just walk away…

  • I killed my invasion of bindweed/morning glories with ROUNDUP. I put some in a jar and used a small paint brush (artists) to paint each leaf. It was very time consuming but it worked very well! This method would be impossible to do with the ground covering ivy. Have no more ROUNDUP anyway!!

    Almut

  • I read about Dutch Elm Disease, Ash Dieback, Acute Oak Decline..
    It would be wonderful if scientists could create a disease or find a bug that would exclusively EXTERMINATE English Ivy !

  • A 6 metre high wall, rough stone built in 1800s. Ivy possibly 70 years` growth with a top overhang. Feelings of despair.
    I invested in a Reciprocating Electric saw.
    MacAllister priced £34.
    This is light and appears to be as robustly made as any other.
    I DID NOT LIKE the on/off trigger switch. Too easy to start it while moving around.
    However it proved extremely effective if used as follows:
    1. Use a jemmy or big screwdriver to poke a hole between the wall and the thick stem of ivy.
    2. Insert the long woodcutting blade into the hole AND CUT OUTWARDS AWAY FROM THE WALL.
    Usual disclaimer about handling tools while up ladders. Always have one arm hooked into the ladder, and move the ladder repeatedly so you never have to stretch out.
    ALWAYS use the two handed grip and keep close to the cutting action.
    And a tip. If you do strike something with the saw tip, it will bend. You will find that it stops penetrating the ivy. Just stop and take a break to tap it out straight again. A bent blade wastes all the motion . The blades are low temper steel and are unlikely to snap.

  • Hi
    I’m in Australia but don’t worry ivy is a pest here too . I’m wanting to use chemical weed killer to get rid of my ivy but what is the impact on the remaining soil . I was wanting to use this area for other plant ie lemon tree , lime tree and passion fruit
    Thanks

  • Hi
    have ivy problem. The ivy plant has grown into the wall and wall is about to cave in.. I’ve reomoved bits on the wall on my side but a huge branch is embedded in the wall and would need for the wall to come down and build again. What can I use to treat the wall so that i kill the little bits on it? Problem i have here is neighbour’s house empty for years so no one there – nothing on land register, council says not their business so essentially can’t prevent new ones coming over the wall again. Help!!!!

  • The side of my neighbour’s house forms part of the boundary of my garden. She has had someone to remove ivy from the front of her house but says I am responsible for the ivy rowing up the side which is in my garden. I have never planted any but have tackled it as far up the wall as I can reach, and thought that the ivy above would wither away.Not so,I can only assume some is still snaking it’s way over from her side of the fence where it joins the wall. I don’t want trouble with the neighbour,we have never been all that friendly but are both seniors and not well off.I feel I must get in an expert to deal with it to keep the peace and don’t want an awkward dispute,I’m 71 and it’s all a bit of a struggle.Im a bit dismayed at how difficult removal seems to be, is it likely to be an expensive job? Worried.

  • Your style of straight forward advice mixed with humor is appreciated. I’m having great luck with your ivy killing methods. Thank you

  • Problem with ivy is its seeds germinate and grows even under leaf and mulch.. A thick depth of Mulch is essential. Mulch can protect ivy from severe weather (permafrost) like in the winder of 2010. In order to control iivy under hedging, lower branch management is essential. Remove lower leafs and low lying branches from bushes 450mm above the ground. This way you can spray ground ivy with SBK brushwood (or similar) weed killer (not on a windy day). Lower branch management of bushes allows you to get in under them and do weeding to remove ivy growth, brambles, ash & sycamore saplings. As one weeds, Robins and blackbirds will join you to in their search for food.. Using a hoe is no good as any young ivy roots will sprout new shoots. One can always spray a day or two later after the birds had their feed.. Weeding & spraying weed killer should be a balanced approach. On about 1.2 acres with boundary hedging, expect to fill 1 to 1..25 standard skips per year doing this task alone. I do.

  • I have a strand of ivy clinging to an outside wall at my house. It is about six feet long and does not reach down to the ground by quite a long way. Can I assume that it will not grow any more but will simply die. It is in a very difficult area to reach on my wall and I would like to know if I can just leave it to wither and die off?

  • I conquered english ivy my mother planted years ago by paying someone to pull it all out. They did this for 2-3 years each time they did a fall/ winter leaf cleanup and now it is pretty much non existent. No chemicals etc. needed. If I see any, usually small vines, I pull it up. There are still some trees in the woods it is growing on with huge tubers that I just cut and I will pull it off when it dies. They are very tall scrub oaks so it may be hard to get it all pulled off the trunks etc. i think I will try vinegar and or the salt water tape method for the large tubers. I hope this own’t damage the trees. I hope to put a new evergreen ground cover in the woods at some point. For now grass has started to take over a bit.

  • I let my ivy grow up a fruit tree so the robins could nest safely..now it’s killed the tree…I suppose I should get rid of ivy and hope robins nest somewhere else

  • Hello,

    I have go through the detail of the article and get a comprehensive knowledge on getting rid of ivy.I have already tried different steps.Really works. Thanks to Fantastic Gardeners Team.

    Best regards,

    M Jay

  • I live on a creek, ivy everywhere and I don’t mind except it has covered about 60% of the black Walnut Tree right behind my house and deck. I need to kill it so it won’t kill the tree, home to many . There is plenty of ivy for the birds etc…..I can’t get down the incline to cut vines so only option is to spray with something that will kill those specific vines any advice.

  • I bought a flat cutting tool to cut English Ivy vines on trees, but it’s difficult to remove vines on the ground. I can use my weed wacker on the top ground growth, but the Ivy has become so dense,Im over whelmed. But, I’ll try your natural Ivy “killers” bec there are many birds living back in the dense overgrowth that’s become a jungle! Daunting task!

  • At 74 I’m finding it difficult to tackle ivy in a hedge. Knackered just now after an hour out there! Your articles are helpful and well considered I don’t like using chemicals tho occasionally use Roundup. In this instance don’t want to harm the beech hedge or honeysuckle
    Anyway thanks for all the advice

  • Hi,
    I moved into a property with ivy creeping all over the front of the house it’s up to the roof and it’s creeps along the flower beds.
    We cut it off from the roots and the vines on the wall are slowly dying.

    We have been removing it by hand and I have dug a little way down to get to the roots and dig them up. Do I need to dig all the way down to get the whole root out or is there anything else I can do to get rid of the plant?

  • Here’s what I,ve tried.
    Cut ivy down low & spray expanding foam (like plumbers us for around pipes) over remaining roots.Foam sets solid.
    In my case it was growing between neighbours fence & my raised bed, so can,t really see it but seems to working,so far!

  • My ivy is entangled all in large azalea bushes plus lots more bushes. If I spray will it kill those bushes also. We are old and cannot get down on the ground to pull up the ivy. Any other suggestions?

  • I am troubled greatly by both climbing and ground ivy. The house is 140 years old. I am 81. I have a strict regime of taking it off garden walls. Cutting it along the top of the wall and using a pointed plastering tool to ease it off. The ivy invades from derelict garage land on the other side. Much worse is ground ivy. I am reluctant to use chemicals under trees but pulling it up is a mammoth task. I am going to try the vinegar. I planted ground cover six years ago and now have ground cover and ground ivy living together quite happily! Has anyone tried an electric weed colour?

  • I was cleaning off a concrete driveway with a hydrochloric acid and water mix once, when I finished the job I was wondering what to do with the left over mix, then spotted some ivy growing and thought I would tip the mix over it, went back to the job a couple of weeks later and the ivy was dead as a door nail!

  • Ivy grows the rear wall of our barn ( 1820) It comes from a garden belonging to social housing and has now reached the roof, taken over the guttering and is about to reach our velux windows. Is the local council responsible for removing this ivy ? And yes of course we need to talk to them first, but expect them to refuse helping us. We have no access to our rear wall.

  • Take a ride on a train anywhere in the south east and the number of trees being killed by ivy is huge. People say only dying trees are infested but that is definitely not the case. Ivy will infect anything and everything and once it takes hold it is almost impossible to wipe out without clearing everything, poisoning the entire area, leave it for a year, treat again anything that returns and then reconsider what you plant. There is absolutely nothing that I can find that is ivy specific and I have yet to find any good reason to use vinegar as it is just about useless to hit ivy even with buckets of the stuff. I put a gallon on a ivy infestation and it didn’t even crinkle the thing. I have a huge area where it covers the ground and I am thinking of waiting for it to get a bit damp in the rain and then using a flame thrower. At least if you direct it to stop it burning anything you want. My neighbour has a tall hedge but beyond it is a fence covered in ivy that the man on the other side doesn’t do gardening so there is 200 feet of hedge and fence that will in the next 5 years all have to be grubbed out and burnt.
    Anyone who buys a pot plant with ivy in it should be strung up! Ivy is a pernicious weed that we need to eradicate else there will be no trees only ugly ivy covered scrub.

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