Invasives: Getting rid of English Ivy

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by Chloris, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Chloris

    Chloris Member

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    Is there a non-chemical method of getting rid of a patch of English Ivy (5 meters square)? Has anyone tried smothering ivy with heavy, light blocking fabric? If so, what type of fabric works well and how long should it take for the ivy to decompose?
     
  2. dawnh

    dawnh Member

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    At Jericho Park, we've had great success with simply pulling English ivy by hand. In one particular instance, we cleared an area about 1,000 square metres. Inevitably, little dribs and drabs resurfaced, but it took only a small amount of time to do some follow-up. This spring, we replanted the area (which lies under some big leaf maples) with a variety of native perennials including foamflower, Pacific bleeding heart, false lily of the valley and ferns. I go back maybe once every three months and pull up an occasional ivy sprout, but that's it. The key is to pull up as much of the root as possible.
    There is a great resource on controlling English ivy in the Pacific Northwest on The Nature Conservancy's website at http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/moredocs/hedhel02.pdf
    Hope that helps,
    Dawn
     
  3. Chloris

    Chloris Member

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    Thanks for the advice Dawnh. Will give pulling a try.
     
  4. link2007

    link2007 Active Member

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  5. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    You may also want to wear long sleeves and pants, wash up and do laundry after removing the ivy by hand. Apparently Hedera spp.sap can cause a skin rash to those people with sensitive skin.

    There was another thread ...(sorry I couldn't figure out how to quote the thread) irritating rash after pruning fir tree...
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, it's known, but rare - most people won't get any rash from it. Nowhere near as bad as Toxicodendron. Generally, don't worry about it.
     
  7. Palias

    Palias Member

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    If you have the time, try placing plastic or geotextile to shade out the ground and that'll kill all weeds and sprouts in ~6 months. It works for almost anything.
     
  8. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Here when the various friends groups are removing ivy from the native bush it is hand pulled. I had a huge invasion here when I first came to this place. I hand pulled and it was soon gone unlike wandering Jew,
    Liz
     
  9. raymikematt

    raymikematt Active Member

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    Really? By hand? I have a problem with Algerian Ivy in my yard and it is extremely tough to pull by hand. Any other solutions?
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Not sure what Algerian ivy is. My variety is English. My soil is very good loose composty stuff so maybe that is why ivy will pull up. I know in native bush it is done by hand and probably a hoe or two. You might have to give it several goes. Have you thought of smothering a section with cardboard or carpet for 6 months. Just had a look at a website I think smothering it may work. You could put mulching material on top of weedmat , or on top of heavy duty cardboard or carpet so it is not so ugly while you are smothering it. Then when time is up go back and weed the runners out. If the leaf is a soft one not really shiny you may be able to use a weed killer on it if that is not too radical a solution.

    Liz
     
  11. Richard S

    Richard S Member

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    I realise this is an old thread but I recently had a very bad experience getting rid of English Ivy and I thought I should warn people about it.

    I took over a house with a large, derelict garden which hadn't been touched for at least twenty years. One of the problems was that several large apple trees had been literally pulled down by a very heavy overgrowth of English Ivy. I was aware that the sap of this plant is poisonous so, even though I have no allergies, I wore gloves when tackling the removal. This consisted of cutting the fallen trees into sections, ivy and all, with a chainsaw. I spent a whole day doing this and was fine but a couple of days later I developed a severe, all-over body rash. ---. It took several days for me and the medics to figure out what caused the problem but it's now so obvious. Chainsawing produces a lot of dust and I hadn't worn a tight mask so I'd probably ingested a fair quantity of ivy particles. "Silly you for not wearing a proper mask !" I hear you cry. I realise that now but we all make careless mistakes. Be warned. This was a very unpleasant experience which took more than three weeks to clear. From now on I will treat English Ivy with the utmost respect.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2010
  12. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    Yikes! I have never taken precautions with Hedera helix. I will watch out signs of a reaction from now on. We have done hand pulling in a local park. It works, but in a woodland, uncultivated setting, the "remainders" get going again pretty quick. So it is ongoing.

    I am in love with my new tiger torch. In our wet winter/spring it is cleaning up unwanted plants in a moment. I bet it would work on the 2nd or 3rd go around with Ivy really well. Obviously - major fire hazard when things start to dry up. My wife is already checking the insurance policy "voluntary damage" "obsessive spouses" are they covered?
     

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