English Ivy- Advice on removal from house

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by chrishiggins74, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. chrishiggins74

    chrishiggins74 Member

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    Vancouver, Canada
    Hello,

    We have just bought a house, a real fixer upper! The house has aluminum siding with an asphalt shingle roof. The house is about 25%-30% covered in English ivy. It runs from the base of the house up the the side and attaches to a tree next to the house to form a pretty solid canopy.
    We don't take possession of the house till April but I want to start removal as soon as possible. Here is my question:

    If I cut the main stems down low (lets say the first 6' off the ground) will the rest of the vine try to put roots down up higher, perhaps reaching under the shingles looking for something with moisture?
    I could leave it till April but I would just as soon start soon and perhaps just cut what is at the ground level to prevent further growth but I don't want to do this if it may cause root formation up higher. The current owners don't want me up on scaffold until we take possession (for liability reasons) but they are fine with me working at ground level.
    If anyone has advice based on a depth of knowledge about English ivy or anyone that has experience with its removal from houses I would greatly appreciate it.
    What I want to avoid is further damage to the home, specifically the roof as the aluminum siding should be pretty strong.

    Thanks,

    Chris in Vancouver
     
  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    My experience of dealing with ivy is that if you remove the lower portion completely then the top will slowly die off. If you remove the bottom 6 feet now I imagine the rest will be easier to remove come April.
     
  3. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i would definitely cut something! cutting off the root system will keep whatever is above the cut from continuing to grow. and now is a good time to do it.

    once you go to settlement and get into the house, you can start dealing with digging up the roots. that will be a project and probably won't be fully completed for a season or two. the roots are very tenacious and the tiniest bit left will continue to grow (so, expect to see some plants popping up throughout the summer and possibly next year as well).

    as for what's actually attached to the building, you will have to VERY CAREFULLY remove it to avoid too much damage to the siding and i would suggest letting it sit for a while and be sure it's completely dead before starting the removal process (should make it a bit easier). since it's been left to grow for so long and has covered a decent amount of the siding, there will probably be some inevitable damage - from the suckers it puts out to support itself as well as what happens when you remove it (the suckers are very strong). hopefully the siding was done properly and the ivy hasn't worked it's way underneath it (which could mean you'd need to replace it).

    congrats on the new house and good luck!
     
  4. chrishiggins74

    chrishiggins74 Member

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    Thank you Joclyn! I will cut the main stems tomorrow and tackle the rest in two months when we have possession. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

    Chris
     

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