Thursday, May 23, 2013

emily vs ivy

It never ends. That's all there is to it.

Just when I thought I had the ivy under control, and away from my house, I realized how HUGE my property feels, and that the ivy has doubled down in areas I didn't even know had ivy problems.

I don't even want to talk about my side yard

Recently, my dad and I were walking around my house, and he started pointing out how the ivy has killed all, or parts, of some trees.  This progressed to pointing out which of the larger trees are in danger of being overtaken by the ivy.  He's right, of course, and so after he left I decided to cut the ivy off one of the larger trees he mentioned was a good candidate for saving.  I've been focused on the front yard, and this tree was in the back.  (I don't think of my self as having a back yard, just a small stretch of woods.)

This is my back yard,  it's THAT bad.

As soon as I got to this tree, I saw that all of the trees in the back are huge, and they are all covered with ivy.  Old ivy, with thick hairy about overwhelming.  But, my trusty saw tooth bow knife works like a charm, so I methodically got to work.  Here's how it goes:
  • First I whack off the leaves on the bottom 3'-4' of the trunk so I can actually see the vines. 
  • Then I work my way around the base, severing each of the vines, and pulling down what I can. I cut out a minimum of 6", but try to cut our pull a full 3'to 4' all the way around the tree.   This will kill the ivy farther up in the trees as it heats up this summer. 


close up of hairy ivy

It looks like I will be repeating this process literally hundreds of times this summer.  Then the next step will be pulling the ivy back from around the trees, or trying to pull it out entirely.  There is so much ivy in these woods that I'm worried I will have a problem with soil erosion if I'm not careful. There is a lot of vinca minor in parts of this area, and I wouldn't mind leaving that as a ground cover, ONLY because it doesn't climb.

Sooooo, if anyone wants to go all Rambo in the woods anytime soon, let me know! I've got a couple extra knives, and a vendetta against the ivy.  I pay in food and beverages!


  1. I have that ivy added to some of my flowers in pots - I like the way it hangs down around the edges. I'm going to keep a close watch that it doesn't escape!
    I've been battling poison ivy - so count your blessings!
    Have a wonderful week-end!
    Lea's Menagerie

    1. I have a little poison ivy, but not much. I didn't wear gloves the last time I worked in the woods, and now I have poison ivy between my ring finger and my pinky. Luckily I'm not very allergic, so it's not spreading, but it's an awkward spot, and it's not going away. Be careful with it in your yard!!

      Happy Gardening!!

    2. I found the best treatment for poison ivy rash to be a Cortizone Cream that you can find at just about any store.
      Have a great day!

    3. Awesome! My mom also gave me an "Ivy Dry" spray that ended up working well.

  2. Ha you find anyone to go all rambo?? You could do what I do, I am too lazy to mow so I let it get out of control and eventually my neighbors do it pathetic yes, but I don't have to mow that way

    1. No, I still need some people to come play rambo with me. Cheers to not having to mow!!


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