English ivy (darki green)

Asked October 3, 2019, 2:01 PM EDT

English ivy grows at the base of our tree which is old. I am thinking of removing the ivy, in part to help the tree. Could we pull the ivy up now in autumn and plant periennials or leave the soil be? Or should we wait until spring to pull the ivy up?

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response


English ivy is an invasive plant which is not native to Delaware. It can be challenging and spread extensively causing issues for neighboring plants and properties. The timing for management of this plant is relative to many factors including the extent of the plants invasion. Not seeing the area or exact tree species, removing the ivy now and allowing the area to remain unplanted for the Fall and Winter seems like it will allow your tree to not have to share nutrients and water with the ivy during these months. In the Spring, you could reassess the area and trees health.

Here is a site from Clemson Cooperative Extension surrounding English Ivy with fascinating photos relative to its invasive nature as well as management-https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/english-ivy-control/

This site from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension also provides valuable information relative to English Ivy control measures as well - https://caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu/2019/04/english-ivy-friend-or-foe/

If you do choose to plant similar item in this area, we would recommend plant that is native to Delawares region such as wood aster, varigated sedge or a hay scented fern.

Thank you for your question.