Environmental impact of English Ivy removal
My 8-acre hillside landscaped residential community (SW edge of Multnomah Co) wants to remove large areas of ivy groundcover. What risks are involved in terms of increased temperatures from bare ground, erosion, repopulation by other invasives, native bird and animal populations, or other issues we may not be aware of? Could this plan actually be ecologically counter-productive?
I think it's a matter of pulling up the ivy and then replacing it with a native but I certainly would want to negotiate the speed and time of year in which to do this. Further, this is not a one-time proposition. Once you have removed the ivy and replanted with alternatives (and I would recommend a mixture, not a 'monoculture' of one type) you are actually making things better for the native flora and fauna. There are ways to mitigate your concerns but doing the removal/replanting in early fall allowing the fall rains to help establish the natives. It may be worthwhile for the community to engage a landscape architect to help manage the erosion/run-off concerns and also help plan for a diverse hillside. Keep in mind that your organization will still need to monitor/remove invasives to ensure the native population remains healthy.