Killing English Ivy on a Tree?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Nette, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. Nette

    Nette Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 17, 2003
    I have two trees whose trunks are covered with English ivy. I'm afraid it might eventually kill the trees. What would be the best way to get rid of it?
  2. Randy Dandy

    Randy Dandy Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2004
    I'm not sure about the English Ivy but I have Poison Oak on a couple of trees and my plan was to cut an aprox. 10" to 12" out from the base of the vine and then drill a hole in the center of the bottom(roots) and fill the drilled hole with a vegetation killer. I will also be leaving the poison oak vine that is growing up the upper portion of the tree attached because if I try to remove it, then it will remove alot of bark from the tree. It will soon turn brown and die, and eventually the tree will remove the vine natually. I hope this helps. I also hope that there might be someone on here that can tell me of a better way to eliminate vines other than how I descibed. Good Luck, Randy

  3. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    I remember watching a segment of "Victory Garden" on PBS where Roger was helping someone remove poison oak from his backyard, the thing that I remember most is his repeating several times...if you leave any roots you will have poison oak the next growning season.

    I was wondering, does poison oak get any thing other than support to sunlight from the tree?

  4. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Aug 4, 2003
    Zone Unknown
    I have giant poison ivy vines EVERYWHERE and a well established root system throughout about 1/4-1/3 of this property.

    For the vines in the trees, I literally just cut the vine and left everything up there to die.

    Did the same thing this year to the wild grapevines. And it works. :D

    The trick is, however, to keep up with what's going on on the ground. Brush-B-Gone applied to the cut vines helps enormously. Also, if you just keep making rounds and hot-shotting the sprouts with week killer, it helps. And finally, once you get things managed above, start pulling out the roots!


    I haven't done this with English Ivy, but have done this (including pulling out roots) to sumac, poison ivy and wild grapes. Persistence is the key. :yeeha:
  5. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2003
    Washington State
    A friend of mine is dealing with the same thing. He, also, indicated that letting ivy vines go will eventually kill the tree. I recall him saying with some authority that the way you deal with it is to simply cut off the vines at the base. What's climbing up the trunk of the tree will die off naturally.
  6. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Yep, cut the vines off at the base of the tree. I actually cut about a foot out of each vine. The part in the tree itself will die and slough off by itself. The part around the tree itself you can try to pull up, or kill. Something that works well for me is to paint the fresh stub of vine with straight roundup - the plant sucks it into the root system and it really slows things down.

    I think the major problem with vines in trees is that they make the tree too top heavy and can topple the tree in heavy rain or wind.
  7. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    no it is not parasitic, unlike mistletoe

  8. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    I just wanted to state that what the locals here in the Ozarks call poison oak is really Virginia creeper. That doesn't really make much difference but not many are alergic to Virginia creeper though some are. It has five leaves. Poison oak has three like poison ivy. They are just longer and narrower than poison ivy.
    Virginia creeper is just as bad for your trees though. I don't like to use pesticides or herbacides so I just pull the vines off the tree and pull up as much root as I can get. Even if you get it all there is always another vine near by willing to take its place. :rolleyes: My house and the retaining wall behind the house and our cave are all covered with english ivy. I love it.My DH hates it.The neighbors saw him attacking it and begged him to leave it alone. Especially on the cave. It looks like a giant water fall there. He keeps it in check around the house. We have the back fenced so the goats can keep it from going up into the woods. Conservation loves us for that. :) They hate english ivy!
  9. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

    Feb 22, 2003
    Far northeast Texas
    Dont' know if this is true, but a tree man once told me that the problem with vines on trees is the little holding roots it puts into the tree allows disease and insects to do damage. It's not that the vine is parasitic in itself, that is it does not require the tree to live.