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Much maligned, ivy is often accused of strangling trees on which it grows. The reality is often less sinister but there may be times when its control is advisable. In the border, ivy’s dense growth can swamp other plants and control here is often needed.
Ivy is a woody stemmed, self-clinging climber that can grow quickly into the canopy of a tree. Where it grows as a trailing, ground-cover plant it roots in at many points and its stems extend over a wide area.
The botanical name for ivy referred to on this page is Hedera and it includes the native climber English ivy (Hedera helix). These are unrelated to the deciduous climbers known as Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) and Virginia creeper (P. quinquefolia).
How to recognise ivy;
Ivy can also be a problem in its variegated form.
Just how harmful is ivy? Here are some facts that will help you decide;
Note: If you are concerned about an old or diseased tree, always seek professional advice from an arboriculturist or tree surgeon.
As ivy is not directly harmful to trees and is beneficial to wildlife, control is not usually necessary. However, where it is undesirable either by obscuring attractive bark or adding weight to an ailing tree, control will be needed.
Weedkillers for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining different weedkillers available for gardeners; see sections 1a and 4)
Chemicals: using a sprayerChemicals: using safely and effectivelyChemicals: using spot and broad-scale weedkillers
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