Temporary Boston Ivy removal?

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by Willhound, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Willhound

    Willhound Member

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    Location:
    Central Ontario, Canada
    Hello All
    Please allow me to introduce myself. My family and I have recently moved into a new house that features some lovely perennial gardens that the previous owner had spent a lot of time on. I've always enjoyed some light gardening, but now find myself literally in over my head. I've picked up a number of books on perennials, and have used a lot of web resources to help me with what I need to know to keep these gardens up to the best of my ability. From what I could see of this site, it looks like a helpful resource. I am currently dealing with hydrangeas, hibiscus, various lilies, dianthus, bleeding heart, peonies, coneflowers, hostas and two ivy's, Boston and English. There are others I've yet to identify, and please forgive me for not using the proper latin identifiers, it's all I can do to keep track of the common names.

    The issue that I've come here with today is that I have a beautiful, and fairly young Boston Ivy on the corner of my brick house. It extends from ground to eaves and is about 4 feet wide.
    A pending addition of a fence will mean that I have to "pull off" some of the vines from the wall as they are in the way. The fence will incorporate a trellis that I could then train these particular vines to, leaving the rest on the wall. Can I simply (and carefully) pull the vines I need to move from the wall, or will this harm the overall health of the plant? If some of the suckers get pulled off, will they grow back?

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i don't think pulling the vines off the side of the house will hurt the plant at all...might do more damage to the house, actually :)

    if any of the suckers are damaged, they'll either rejuvenate or new ones will grow, so i wouldn't be worried about it at all.
     
  3. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Boston ivy (I assume we're talking about Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is a very tough plant. As long as the root structure is well established, nothing you do is likely to kill it.

    I would consider just cutting the entire stem(s) back, at the point where you need to detach it from the wall. That will give it a chance to start putting vigorous new shoots from healthy wood. Direct them temporary away from the construction area while the fence is being built. Then just sort of drop the at the base of the wall and/or fence and let them find their way from there.

    The alternative -- yanking the stems off the wall -- will probably not kill the stems, but it may well injure and weaken them, so that they never quite achieve the same vigor as fresh young shoots. Also, it's worth bearing in mind that those little adhesive pads that hold the plant to a wall are ONLY formed by growing shoots. In other words, the old shoots, even if you "save" them, will never cling to the wall again of their own accord. You'd have to attach them somehow, and then hope that new growth would emerge and produce sticky pads.

    But really, don't worry. Nothing you do will be wrong, and the plant will look splendid again before you know it.
     
  4. Willhound

    Willhound Member

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    Location:
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    "Parthenocissus tricuspidata"
    Yep. One and the same. (I had to look it up).
    Thanks for both replies. I will likely use both ideas as the location of the fence will only mean I have to move a few of the vines, but since it is already invading the soffit and eavestroughs on the house, I will likely cut it back and try to get it routed along the fence and trellis instead. Here is a shot of it I took today.

    Thanks again for the help.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009

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