Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Remove Ivy from a Tree

When we bought this house, the backyard had a serious ivy problem.  The ivy had probably started out as a nice groundcover for the woods where nothing but weeds would grow.  It it is a lovely shade plant when tended.  Clearly this infestation was out of control!


The giant pillar of ivy in the center is a poplar tree trunk.  :)  As soon the contracts were signed, my unstoppable mother began Operation Kill Ivy on the fence.  It was basically a combination attack of pulling it, cutting it and spraying it with Roundup until victory was achieved.  But the thing I hated most about the backyard was the tree covered in ivy.  Ugly ugly!  Some people (who shall remain nameless) were concerned that killing it would only make it uglier… but I would not be deterred.  Our plan of attack was to cut the ivy at the base of the tree and hope it died.  Well, clearly that worked… it died.  It was now ugly and dead!


Eventually the dead ivy leaves fell off leaving dead ivy vines covering the tree trunk.


Fast forward through five years and one day I looked outside to find that the ivy was finally releasing the death grip on the tree trunk!  Imagine that!


Gravity was pulling it down in a huge sheet and it was literally falling away from the tree!  A few weeks later after a big storm I found the great wall of ivy laying on the ground beneath the tree.  More chunks continued to fall over the winter.  This is just a small piece:


Today there are a few vines left clinging at the top and some stubborn ones stuck to the back, but for the most part, our giant poplar is ivy-free! :)  Whoo-hoo!


I never imagined it would take five years for the ivy to fall off.  I’m not sure I imagined it ever falling off, actually!  But now I know that great improvements require great patience and that it is possible to remove ivy from a tree!

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