Good evening hbear and thank you for the question.
If you simply want to trim the ivy away from the woodwork, a good pair
of gardening shears is all you need. Ivy is a fast-growing plant and
it is necessary to prune regularly in order to keep it away from
wooden house parts (window frames, roof eaves, siding, etc.) or else
it can ruin finishes and works its way into the house. It can also
enlarge fine cracks and even crumble mortar and damage soft brick.
I would personally recommend that you completely remove the ivy from
the house being very careful as you do this, especially if you have a
brick/mortar or stucco house. The vines should never be pulled from
the wall as this could damage the brickwork or stucco. You may want
to consult with a mason, who can help you evaluate the consequences of
removing it or leaving it alone.
Many years ago I lived in a brick house that had beautiful English Ivy
creeping up the sides. When we finally decided to rid of the ivy, I
found out just what a pain it is to kill. Herbicides alone do not
completely kill ivy and it takes a lot of work and patience to get rid
of the beautiful but incredibly stubborn plant.
Ivy has waxy leaves that prevent the herbicide to "soaking in" and the
plant has an incredible resistance to most toxins. Herbicides will
turn the leaves brown and it will appear dead but don't let this fool
you. A lot of time, green shoots or foliage will sprout out of the
brown leaves. If you want to try the Roundup product that Tutuzdad
pointed out to you, I would recommend that instead of spraying the
plant as the Roundup directs, cut a small slit in the stem and apply
it in the slit. Didn't I tell you it takes a lot of work?!
There?s a great product specifically for vine treatment called Vine X.
It comes in a pint size bottle with a "paint brush" and you wipe it on
the living plant, and it will kill roots. You can find more
information on this product at the website:
( http://www.vine-x.com/ )
Another way to kill the ivy is to remove the entire plant. Be sure to
hack up the roots as far down as you can using anything sharp (i.e.,
shovels, knives, axe, etc.) Unfortunately, ivy creeps and it is near
impossible to kill all the roots, especially if they grow under brick
foundations or across your yard, which you do not want to dig up
Because of this reason, you may want to do both - cut back the ivy as
much as possible and apply the herbicide to the exposed, slit roots.
It may take a couple of applications and you may have to try several
herbicides before you kill the plant completely.
The ivy could possibly have ?tendrils? that have stuck to the wood
surface like they do to brick or stucco. The best way to get rid of
these it to take a small wire brush to remove them.
Warning?spiders love to live in ivy so if you have a fear of spiders,
as I do, be careful!
I hope this answers your question. If you would like clarification
before rating my answer, please do not hesitate to ask! Good luck!
Clarification of Answer by
05 Aug 2005 20:49 PDT
Removing the tendrils that remain after you remove the ivy is labor
intensive but for woodwork that needs to be painted, it?s necessary.
The best way I found to remove it from wood is to use a handheld power
sander and sand very lightly. A nice power washing after that will
rid of the dust, etc.
If you aren?t planning on painting and just want to get rid of the
pesky things, I would recommend removing the ivy and then leaving the
tendrils alone for two or three weeks until they dry up and turn dark.
They can then be removed with a stiff brush and some laundry
Hello again, hbear!
If you wait too long, the tendrils may oxidize making it very hard and
nearly impossible to remove without doing damage to the wood. I would
check with your local gardening center but I do believe 2 to 3 weeks
is fine. Do NOT use harsh chemicals or acids on the wood.
I have sent an email to a local gardening center and hope to receive a
reply back soon. If I find out anything from them that might help in
addition to what I have posted in my answer, I will certainly let you