Barrier for English Ivy?

agardenstateof_mindJune 5, 2013

Does anyone know how deep a barrier must be to block the spread of English Ivy? I know the roots are quite shallow, but wonder if they "dive" if challenged.

My neighbor has his entire wooded back yard rampant with it and I'm just sick and tired of having to pull out the vines along the property line. Due to the loss of a 60' oak during Sandy, shade patterns have changed, so I will be re-doing that part of the yard and while I'm at it, considered installing a barrier.

Thanks for any advice.

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I've been battling the same scenario for a few years now, so hoping someone has a good answer. I removed everything that was rooted on my property and all my borders now have established natives. Aside from giving the ivy on the border a good cutting back each spring/fall, I'm not sure what else can be done. Having dense, established plants on my side of the border definitely helps things though.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:40PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Regarding the barrier, since English Ivy climbs (and quickly I might add), I cannot think of any type of barrier that wouldn't eventually present you with the same problem. In my experience, the roots are quite shallow. I would not think that would change. If something blocked their path, wouldn't they just climb up and over?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:48AM
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C2g - I have a similar situation on my side boundary, which is garden beds with dense, well-established plants in partial shade and the ivy still spreads above and below ground, creeping and climbing anything in its path. Last summer I finally freed the mock orange of the stuff.

Mary, yes, it would climb up and over - I've seen plenty of that behavior - so I'd have to get in there periodically and cut back the vines. At least I wouldn't have to pull the runners that spread underground, and, in the process, possibly disturb the root systems of the plants I intend to plant there.

If people are going to plant (or allow to remain) invasive plants, especially the running type, I wish it were required that THEY contain them rather than their neighbors.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:48PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

We have a 5 inch wide concrete barrier running between fence posts that was poured by the PO. Thickness varies from 2 to 4 inches because it was a quick & dirty DIY project with minimal base prep. It has held up surprisingly well and did a good job of keeping the English ivy on one side of the fence; roots/runners did not seem to be able to tunnel below about 2 inches in our local clay. Over the top was still a problem where it found the occasional gap in the fence.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 4:29PM
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An asphalt or cement path might work. I've never seen ivy try to cross a driveway. If it were black, it would cook the ivy in the summer. Or you could try a lawn you could mow or a row of trees that provide dense shade. (I have lots of ivy and Eastern Red Cedar and I've never seen the ivy climb the cedar.)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Try bamboo barrier - that should give you at least a fighting chance -:))

FWIW, ivy will grow in full shade and it will easily climb anything (including 100'+ doug firs) that it comes into contact with. Fences are no barricade at all, neither are sidewalks or driveways, although deeper concrete/asphalt structures may work. And you will always risk new plants popping up from seed spread by birds if there is a well-established colony nearby.

If you want to know how to control ivy, take my word and get advice from someone that lives in the PNW where English ivy is a Class A noxious weed - we are "pros" at attempting to keep ivy I check :-) I say "in check" because it is nigh on impossible to eradicate.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:11PM
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pulling out the vines is most likely the only remedy.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 4:14PM
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