The Q&A Archives: Removal of ivy

Question: How do you permanently remove ivy from a tree trunk and the grass in a backyard?

Answer: Ivy can be difficult to remove because the vine attaches to the bark of the tree. The best approach is to cut the vine near the ground, then leave it to decay and eventually fall off. If you try to pull it off the tree it can damage the bark.

In a lawn area you could try to pull it up, beginning at the tip of each runner and working your way back along the vine, then maintain a regularly trimmed edge. Or, you could spot treat it with an herbicide containing glyphosate. Be sure to read and follow all of the label directions for application and reapplication. Ivy is difficult to eradicate so if there is a thick cover of it then you may have a big job ahead of you.

Keep in mind that ivy is often used on purpose as a groundcover in areas that are not suitable for growing grass. For instance, grass will not grow in a shaded area or a slope can be difficult to mow. I hope this helps.

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