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Ivy nightmare

Hello all, just a quick thanks for accepting me to the network and welcome my first issue i have come across in my new business venture.

I have a customer who wants the Ivy under a tree removed / killed........looking at how its spread from the wall to the ground and the condition of the wall under the Ivy it looks as though id be opening a can of worms by removing it - she is aware of this also ( something the customer doesnt want to pay for is a rebuilt wall )

The Ivy has spread under 3 Lilac bushes and we would like to remove it and mulch under the tree's - problem here is the ivy has grown up through a bed of already installed heavy duty landscape fabric and also down into it creating an utter mess of crossed roots in combination with the fabric.

What would you guys & girls suggest to get rid of the ivy on the ground without killing the ivy on the wall & also making it suitable for mulching.............its basically a matted mess of roots and that heavy duty landscape fabric that's been there for 15-20 years+

Ive heard that laying a plastic sheet over it for 6-8 weeks would kill the ground ivy but of course if we're going to mulch i suspect it'll all have to come out meaning some kind of machinery?

This extends 20ft or more past those pallets also to the right.........this is just a small part of it.

Any other suggestions as to what to do with it to make it look respectable & managble again would be great!

Any help is much apprecated so thanks in advance

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  • PRO

    1. Wait till ground is soft from rain, severe as much of the stems near wall as possible , then pull out by hand. 

    If the ground is soft you can get lucky and manage to pull out and roll back towards wall. 

    2. Alternatively -- manually remove,dig the bulk out of the priority mulch areas , then strim the hell out of the remaining ground growth, it wont kill it all but you can weaken it and keep it tidy with a strimmer. Ivy regroth isnt usually super fast. 

    Im not sure if any chemical options work and i believe you either need to hit young leaf growth before colour changes and they create the waxy covering, or you need to damage the leaves to allow chemical to get in. 

    If ground is hard and its tough going / impractical -- use option 2 a few times during year and trhen remove in winter when ground has softened up. 

  • PRO

     Edit : landscape fabric may cause issues when strimming - would need to test a bit

    Have you tried pulling fabric up and using it to tear the ivy out > 

  • PRO

    You can use a surfactant such as Active-g that helps penetrate the waxy coating when using glyphosate and it also speeds up the uptake of the product and it works very well on ivy.


    • PRO

      If you want to keep the ivy on the wall there will always be runners on the ground . 

      If you dont intend to spray then the alternative is to dig out manually after first removing the fabric but ground is often compacted under fabric and difficult to dig but possibly less ivy under there than you imagine as the fabric is possibly supressing some growth but i doubt you will eradicate the ivy completely by digging it out so it might be a case of clearing the suface and putting down a new membrane . 

      Is the mulching to benefit the lilacs or for aesthetic purposes ? 




  • PRO Supplier

    I think you've either got to; a) draw a line in the turf and skim 3-4cm off the surface back towards the wall like you were stripping turf then wait for regowth, spray and then weedmat...

    or, b) Use glyphosate & validate in a spray mix to help it stick to the leaf then spray off the ivy back to the wall - accepting you may lose some leaves from the wall coverage. 

    I think you'll always get ivy ingress in the mulch if you keep the ivy on the wall !
    Richard @ Progreen

  • Digging it outwill be an absolute time-consuming nightmare with small pieces lef which will regrow........................I've had great success using "Tryilopyr" (Garlon   Blaster etc) without any additive for dealing with ivy........ just one application is often sufficient.   Strim it down to expose cut stems and then treat it..... I'd sever all the stems etc with a spade on the ground near the base of the wall to minimise damage to the ivy on the wall.  If necessary, after a few weeks, retreat any fresh new leaf growth. 

  • Thank you all for your advice! its been much appreciated! for now its at the bottom of the pile of the 'to do' list which my customer seems to be able to add too on a daily basis! Thanks again!

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