Ivy, and I don't want it

mownie(7)June 11, 2014

We are in negotiations toward buying a house.
The previous owner either cultivated climbing ivy, or else simply neglected to control it.
Are there ANY benefits to be realized by letting ivy have its way with your home, and trees?
How would one treat ivy to kill it?
There is also some poison oak and poison ivy in the mix, so I don't relish the idea of string trimmers or hand pruning/cutting.
The photo is representative of the situation along the front of the house and up & into a Hemlock tree at the corner of the house. Ivy on the house front has climbed all the way to the gutters in a few spots.

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Some people think Ivy is a good plant while others think it almost the worst evil there is. The only way to eliminate it is to dig it out. After years of trying many people have found there is no poison spray that will get rid of it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:00AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I wouldn't buy that house w/o insisting on price reduction to hire people to get rid of that, or that the current owners do it. Also, you can't see the foundation. In addition to damaging the brick, it's a perfect haven for rodents and spiders.

Kim, it's not that people don't like it, or don't think it's pretty. It's a non-native invasive plant, one of the most damaging (to native species and ecosystems) in the US.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:01AM
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mownie(7)

@purpleinopp
I can appreciate what you are stating, and why, but there can be no negotiations for price reduction based on getting rid of the ivy. There were a couple of other points of contention regarding the property and those were attended to as primary issues.
We have already negotiated the price down as far as it will go. The house is the one we want, in an area of town we like, and has the space we have sought, both inside and outside.
So, even if I am faced with confronting the ivy head on myself, the ivy is not a deal breaker in this situation.
The current owner is elderly and infirm. He has survived most of his family and has simply aged out of the means to continue owning the house.
And........the work commences shortly (if all goes according to plan) :^)

This post was edited by mownie on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 11:27

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:19AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Mownie, to answer your question....there are absoletely NO benefits in allowing ivy's, to crawl up your brick home nor your trees. To the contrary; ivy can cause physical damage. It should reduce the asking price by a generous amount.

Be sure to inspect the window casings for physical damage and for signs of loose mortar between the bricks. As for the tree, step back and look at the canopy at a distance. It should be full and uniform with no signs of dead limbs. Unhealthy trees, detectable even by an amatuer should lower the property value immediately.

It is possible to get rid of ivy with a combination of clipping, careful herbicide applications, and time. After clipping, a systemic broad spectrum herbicide (like RoundUp) can be applied with a paint brush to the new growth. The treatment will need to be repeated, but with time, the ivy will be greatly weakened. By "time", I mean years but only a couple of applications a season.

It's even possible to protect yourself when working around poison ivy!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:37AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Mownie, to answer your question....there are absoletely NO benefits in allowing ivy's, to crawl up your brick home nor your trees. To the contrary; ivy can cause physical damage. It should reduce the asking price by a generous amount.

Be sure to inspect the window casings for physical damage and for signs of loose mortar between the bricks. As for the tree, step back and look at the canopy at a distance. It should be full and uniform with no signs of dead limbs. Unhealthy trees, detectable even by an amatuer should lower the property value immediately.

It is possible to get rid of ivy with a combination of clipping, careful herbicide applications, and time. After clipping, a systemic broad spectrum herbicide (like RoundUp) can be applied with a paint brush to the new growth. The treatment will need to be repeated, but with time, the ivy will be greatly weakened. By "time", I mean years but only a couple of applications a season.

It's even possible to protect yourself when working around poison ivy!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:38AM
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breenthumb

I'd also suggest pulling it off while its still alive and strong. Otherwise, dead dry pieces will be left embedded in/on the brick, which will be much more difficult and time consuming to remove. Daughter insisted on spraying mine first and now I can't even reach the dead dry pieces up there.

I don't know about the poison ivy. Thankfully never had that. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:24AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

About the poison ivy, the urishiol (oil that gives people a rash) remains on the leaves, stems after it's been sprayed. Be just as careful handling dead PI as you would live stuff.

It does look like a great house, I hope the ivy battle goes well!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:27AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Urushiol is supposed to remain potent for up to 5 years: so be very careful handling anything that might be dead PI.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 10:46AM
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mownie(7)

I will update this thread periodically as I commence the process of "eradication".
I am thinking that I need to pull as many runners/vines off the walls as I can before spraying them.
This will keep me from having a problem pulling dried, dead vines later (as suggested by breenthumb).
Roundup or other glyphosphate product will be sprayed on the vines after I pull them down from the wall.
My intent is to spray the vines and allow them to die before I clip them to the ground and remove them.
Spraying the entire plant increase the kill rate by optimizing the absorption of glyphosphate into the plants nutrient transport system. I have been told that this is better than clipping and then spraying/paint brushing herbicide onto new growth that pops up from roots.
Spray vines, let vines die, clip vines.....in that order first. Then paint brush new growth as it emerges.
Doing in that order is alleged to kill or weaken the roots for a more effective result.
Any thoughts on that step by step method?
Oh, the Hemlock tree that has been taken over by ivy is going to be cut down as it is one of those cases where someone plants a small tree (how cute they are when little) too close to the house and it grows up causing problems as it encroaches on the house right next to it.

This post was edited by mownie on Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 12:35

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:31PM
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cholmes28(7)

I had about 2000sf of that stuff growing 2' deep on the side of my yard when I bought my house. I wanted to turn it into a lawn for the kids. I tried many products, and the only one that worked was Bayer Brush Killer Plus. I bought the 1 gallon size, and poured into a 5 gal plastic bucket and used a trombone sprayer so I could thoroughly coat all the leaves. Any sprayer would work, but the one built into the product doesn't spray very far, just don't dilute with water. Once you kill all the green, you will have to remove the roots, but it is a lot easier when the green is gone. It was a real pain, but all is good now.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 6:35PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

More often than not people will spray a plant poison on Ivy and then will have a fairly large pile of dead, brown stuff to clean up that often breaks off and leaves viable roots in the soil so it will grow back. If pulled out while green and alive most often I have gotten most of the roots as well as the top growth. Far less expensive then buying a plant poison.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:17AM
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