Growing up, I always thought ivy was a great plant – if it’s good enough for the “ivy league,” it must be good, right? Wrong! When it comes to ecology and gardening, english ivy gets an F. It’s an invasive non-native species that can take over wooded areas and kill trees. So, this morning I spent a fun-filled 3 hours removing ivy from a tree in my yard. Wow, that was a good bit of work…. , but well worth it. It’s a 3 step process:
- Cut the ivy at the base of the tree and at shoulder height.
- Gently remove the ivy along the trunk of the tree (don’t bother pulling off the ivy above shoulder height – you’ll just rain twigs, branches, and bugs on your head)
- Remove ivy on the ground by cutting around patches and then rolling up the mats.
Here’s a great instruction sheet with pictures to help! The best way to avoid english ivy, or other non-natives, in your yard is to “just say no” – don’t plant them and if you see them, take them out! But once they’ve established a foothold, the extra work is worth it in order to save your trees!