Best way to get rid of invasive English (& poison) Ivy?

Asked April 6, 2018, 10:52 AM EDT

I rue the day I planted this ivy (30 years ago), hoping for a nice ground cover on the top tier of my terraced backyard. Little did I know that it would take over everything, be a host for poison ivy, and intrude on my neighbors' yards, too. There is too much E.I. to pull by hand. I've purchased an herbicide called "Crossbow" Specialty Herbicide, and have been waiting for a day with no wind to apply it with a sprayer. Now I am nervous that it will kill everything including the trees and azaleas, which of course I don't want. And might ruin the soil for future grass seed and azaleas. Need your advice quickly!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Glyphosate and triclopyr are the two chemicals recommended for English ivy:
They will not prevent you replanting in the area. Read the label thoroughly and follow the directions.
Crossbow has triclopyr and 2,4D (a common lawn weed herbicide), it should be fine. However, keep in mind that triclopyr kills woody plants. Do be careful to keep it from getting on your other plants. Not only apply on a still day, but be mindful that a spray has fine droplets that you cannot see. For that reason, the reach of the spray can be wider than it looks. Do not get near desirable plants. When you need to get close, hold a shield of cardboard or plastic between the spray and the plant.

If you can mow the area and then spray the regrowth, it will kill it more effectively. Also, the leaves are waxy and repel liquids, so it's a good idea to mix in a spreader sticker product to make the spray stick to the leaves.