how to get rid of pervasive English ivy growing up trees

Asked May 12, 2020, 12:50 PM EDT

I see this ivy growing up & taking over trees in my neighborhood & all over Baltimore. Is cutting thru the base stem the only way to get rid of it going up a tree? Will it eventually kill a tree once it covers all the limbs & leaves? I'm willing to do the cutting not only for my own trees but for neighbors also if they want me to

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Do not let English ivy grow up trees. Dense foliage blocks sunlight and restricts growth of other plants. Heavy vines cause damage and death to mature trees by loosening the bark and holding moisture against the trunk, making a good environment for fungal disease and decay. Heavy vines can take trees down in wind, snow, and icy conditions, etc.

To eradicate English ivy that is growing on trees cut the vine off at the base of the tree and paint the newly cut end of the vine with a systemic herbicide (containing glyphosate or triclopyr) at high strength. Read the product instructions pertaining to tough weeds. Do not let the herbicide get directly on the tree. Do not pull the vines from the tree as this can damage the bark. The vine will dieback on its own on the tree trunk.

For English ivy groundcover, pull up as much as you can, dig out the roots as well as you can, and repeat until it no longer re-sprouts; or treat the re-growth with an herbicide (applying it directly to the foliage, not the ground). A systemic herbicide like triclopyr (as in Brush B Gone products) may be applied to foliage or cut stems. Follow label directions. It may be helpful to use a spreader sticker so the herbicide adheres to the foliage.
See more on our website https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/english-ivy

Marian