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You may love the look of ivy climbing your trees, but it could actually harm them.  When ivy begins to grow into the tree’s canopy, it’s time to remove the ivy.


There are several reasons to remove ivy from your trees:


  1. Ivy can make a tree weaker, making it susceptible to pests.
  2. Ivy can take over tree branches, blocking leaves from getting sunlight.
  3. Vines can weigh branches down, making them more likely to break and fall.
  4. Ivy is aggressive and can steal nutrients from the tree.


To get rid of ivy for good, it’s important to remove the roots completely.  You can do this one of two ways.


To remove the ivy by hand, make sure the soil is wet beneath the tree.  Use a hand pruner to cut the ivy at the bottom of the tree. Then, dig as deep as you can to remove all of the roots from the ground.  Removing the roots completely will assure that the ivy will not come back. Do not rip the remaining ivy from the trunk of the tree. This could harm the tree.  Make sure to check the tree periodically to make sure the ivy is not growing back.


You can also get rid of ivy by dousing the ivy with vinegar.  Fill a garden sprayer with white vinegar. Spray the vinegar directly on the ivy, avoiding surrounding plants and grass, as the vinegar could kill them.  The ivy should turned brown within a week. If there are still green leaves on the ivy plant, continue spraying with vinegar every week until it turns brown.  Do not pull the ivy off to avoid damaging the tree trunk. Once the ivy is completely dead and brown, remove the ivy from the tree, starting at the roots.


Ivy may look great around a tree, but it can do some serious damage to your trees.  If you suspect that your ivy situation is too much for you to handle on your own, call a licenced arborist to help get rid of your ivy.