How to Get Rid of English Ivy

English ivy may look pretty, but it can quickly take over and cause damage to buildings and trees. Here’s how to stop it.

What Is English Ivy?

English ivy is a tough and troublesome weed. If left alone, it spreads up trees and even onto buildings. Its powerful vines can penetrate trees and cracks in buildings and can lead to rotting if left untreated.

English Ivy, Climb No More: 3 Ways to Stop It

1. Keep it off trees and buildings.

Cut vines that begin to grow up trees. When ivy grows upwards, it flowers and produces fruit. Then, birds disperse the fruit and English ivy will spread farther.

English ivy is so aggressive that it can cover an entire tree. Eventually, it can penetrate the bark, weaken branches, and block essential sunlight from getting to the trees' leaves. This makes trees more vulnerable to pests and disease, and less stable during wind and rainstorms. It could even result in the tree toppling over.

English ivy can also cause damage to the exterior of buildings. Its growing roots seek out anything they can grab on to and will find even the smallest gap or crack in your siding. Be sure to remove it at the first sign of growth, especially if you have wood, brick, stone, or stucco on the exterior of your home.

2. Kill English ivy with Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer products.

Got a tree consumed in ivy? Don't worry, you can still stop the vines from climbing higher. Clear a 1-to-2-foot-tall section around the trunk at chest height. Then, use clippers, loppers, or a small saw to cut through the vines. Below the cleared area, spray the vines and leaves with Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer products. Super important tip: Don't soak the bark, or you might end up with an injured tree.

You can repeat the same steps above on any structure where you want to remove this pesky and harmful plant.

3. Ground control

Ivy has shallow roots, so it's easy to hand pull the vines. If there are thicker mats of ivy, use a shovel to pry up the roots. English ivy can also be smothered by placing a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard on top of it, followed by mulch.


Replenish by Replacement

Once English ivy is removed from the ground, you can replace it with another, less aggressive ground cover. Pennsylvania sedge, wild ginger, partridge berry, Christmas fern, or Allegheny spurge are just a few great native ground covers that look nice and won't become a burden.