Plants that Compete with Poison Ivy

Asked July 1, 2020, 9:14 AM EDT

We have a group of maples at the back corner of our lot that, until recently, were unkept. Under the canopy was a sea of poison ivy creeping into the lawn. I’ve spent the last 2 months spraying the growth, just cut the limbs from ground level to a height of about 7 feet and have pulled as many vines from the ground as possible. I’m on the winning side and just need to dispose of all the debris that was under the tree.

What can I do with the area now to discourage the poison ivy from taking over? The first 6 feet under the tree now gets about 4 hours of morning sun and the 6 feet going towards the trees gets almost no sun. I would rather not leave bare dirt and we really can’t afford to mulch the whole area.

We do not want to cut anymore branches from the tree to let in more light because they help block out the houses behind ours. I know I will have to stay diligent and watch for new PI growth. I’m considering a shade tolerant grass blend at the edge, but I think I need a more shade tolerant suggestion for 6 feet around the tree.

I’m open to any suggestions for the area and realize they may be as hard to control as the PI but likely won’t require me taking prednisone.

Hartford County Connecticut

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Shade tolerant grass would definitely be a good choice since mowing would keep the poison ivy knocked down. Beyond that though, I'm not sure what else to suggest. However, I let me consult with our weed specialist, Dr Erin Hill, to see if she has suggestions. She is currently away from her office but I'll follow up with you as soon as she returns.

Thank you for your patience.