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Evergreen in Z-6 ?

Posted by dirtslinger2 6 (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 28, 09 at 2:20

I'm trying to find vines to cover up some ugly (but much needed!) outbuildings on the farm. But evergreen is quite important if possible.

English ivy is REALLY SLOW to establish in this zone. Too slow.

Is there anything else?

If not I am willing to use hops (perennial and isn't incredibly early growing), and kiwis, which I haven't had great luck with here.

Thanks- I'd love to hear any other ideas- if there are any!


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Some things you should know aboutEnglish ivy

It probably is in your zone but I'd hate to see you plant the ivy and hate it after it invades the structure or overtakes other plants. I'd even encourage you to not plant English Ivy at all as it's becoming a problem in many areas in North America.

The US Dept of Agriculture has listed English Ivy as a "quarantined" plant in Oregon and many other states (can't be sold or transplanted anywhere here..it's that much of a thug). Birds are spreading seeds from the berries it produces and we are currently working tirelessly to eradicate it from our forested areas.

Here's just some of what I've learned about ivy in the past 10 years. I hope it will help you make the best decision for your situation.
Most important to your proposed use:
--"structural damage" caused on wood building when it's little vining stems creep into cracks in siding and up under the sophets and fascia along roof lines and as these stems grow in diameter they will actually loosen the boards (I have seen boards pop off a wall). The vines can get as big as a man's arm!
--It provides perfect protective habitat for rats and other small vermine, hiding them from view of the predators that help keep their numbers in check.
--It has no known pests or diseases in the US so it grows unchecked in most areas.
--Ivy does nothing to help stop erosion (not sure if you have that issue or not) it's roots are rope-like...not the kind that hold the soil in place.
--It easily climbs and overtakes large trees weakening them by shading the trees branches and eventually killing the tree. Just the weight of the ivy with rainwater on the leaves can bring down trees from the added burden. (we have forests that are being devastated by ivy here in Portland...you can google "No Ivy League" for some interesting facts on Ivy and reports of whats being done.)

I would instead recommend a line of evergreen trees (if you have room) as a visual screen or something like that instead.

You can Google "USDA Noxious weed list" for your state to find out what it's status is.

Hope this helps some...there are a lot of creative ideas online. If you haven't yet, I'd surf around and post queries to see what others may have done to solve similar situations. I'm just not sure that ivy is the best solution for your situation.


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RE: Evergreen in Z-6 ?

Yes I fully agree about the ivy! Where I grew up it was clogging the forests up mighty bad. Awful stuff!


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RE: Evergreen in Z-6 ?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 15, 09 at 16:24

Euonymus fortunei.


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RE: Evergreen in Z-6 ?

You may not be using one of the cold hardy English Ivy varieties. Try 'Thorndale' (zone 4) it should be quite vigorous in most zone 6 areas if your soil is good and you make sure to feed and water it regularly. Nevermind those Pacific Northwestern-lurkers who believe just because they can't see the stars that they must live at the center of the universe where, apparently, all birds eating ivy in the world will hold it until they can poop those seeds in their rain forests. I use to be one of them, but then I moved to Utah where I found there actually is a sun above those clouds, we revolve around it -- and belive it or not, ivy isn't invasive everywhere. Halle-frick'n-lujah!


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