Ivy removal - ivy growing up a wallIvy is beautiful. It’s hardy and gives cover and privacy. It brings warmth and colour to the darkest of winter days. The fast growing varieties, such as English Ivy (Hedera Helix) are very popular when establishing a garden. Added to which it is great for attracting wildlife. Bumblebees and butterflies drink the nectar and many birds including blackbirds and thrushes eat the berries. However, ivy is also well known for its invasiveness, and with good cause. It can grow rampantly with sometimes disastrous effect, which is why ivy removal needs to be done with due care and consideration.

Structures and Climbing Ivy

Ivy makes bare expanses look stunning, such as the sides of buildings, fences, walls and sheds. The most important thing to bear in mind is that the ivy should be planted against trellis that is cited a good few inches away from the structure to avoid the roots embedding themselves into the sides.

It is also wise to keep an eye on its growth as it can play havoc with your mortar and undermine your pointing. High reaching ivy can also become a threat to telephone wires and electricity cables.

Ivy attaches itself with suction-cup-like roots called ‘hold fasts’. They are known for their tenacious grip and are very difficult to remove – sometimes taking a sandblaster to remove the roots completely.

Ivy and Trees

There is a common misconception that ivy kills trees if it establishes itself around them. This is not strictly true; it is rather that the resulting actions can.

The competition for nutrients, sunlight and water can undermine the tree, making it weaker and more prone to disease.

Ivy adds moisture around the bark which attracts pests and rot.

Where ivy climbs a tree, the tree’s lower branches die back. This causes an imbalance of branches. This and the added weight at the top of the tree can make the tree more at risk of falling in gale conditions.

Ivy Removal or Control

If you suspect that your ivy is becoming out of control there is much that can be done to remediate the problem. As it is so tenacious and invasive care needs to be taken with ivy removal. Regular maintenance can help keep your ivy healthy without it becoming a pest.

Contact Totally Trees for help and guidance with your ivy.