The Ivy Project

I have been a bit ivy-obsessed over the festive break.  It started with some general pruning and sorting out of the side hedging but developed quite rapidly into a 'lets uncover the rowan' project.

I give you exhibit A, which is actually in terms of progress exhibit B because I neglected to take a photograph before I started.
This is the tree that stands right outside the kitchen window.  It has always had a good covering of ivy since I moved in and I have tried a few times to deal with it but never to much effect.  I had been told previously that the best was to remove ivy from a tree was to cut a strip around the base of the ivy to disconnect it from its roots.  This advise was said to me again in a comment on a recent post about ivy, so suitably enthused I decided it was time to try again.
At this point the bird box has not yet emerged, the somewhat spooky bird box.
At this stage the bird box can be seen and the canopy of ivy is disappearing quite well.  I have cut a band around the base of the tree and another one just above the bird box, sort of insurance to help kill it quicker.  I was however quicker realising that my step ladder was not sufficient for the task.  I was going to need a bigger ladder!
Every session meant a bit more daylight getting through the branches.  I was also finding an issue that had been worrying me from the start; the ivy was holding dead branches in place.  This meant I was not only removing ivy but I was checking branches and removing them too if they were dead.  Bearing in mind that during most of this period we were having lots of gales and I was keeping a nervous eye on the greenhouse.
It was looking a lot better though, I was pleased.
I then got more excited than anyone should over the new ladder.  Now I do actually have a very tall proper ladder, but I do not feel very safe on it and wobbled far too much when I tried it.  I feel a lot steadier on a step ladder.
and so the progress continues.  I do not think I am going to get more more removed now, the top-knot remains which I hope will die-off and disconnect over time.  This will happen won't it?  I am keeping an eye on the ivy in case new growth starts to happen.

It has already improved the view from the kitchen window hugely.
I would never have been able to see this robin four weeks ago.


  1. Oh my goodness that is a lot of ivy! Removing it all is not a task I would have wanted to take on.

  2. Lovely post and very interesting as well many thanks for sharing

  3. A few years ago I worked on a white pine with equal enthusiasm. There was no ivy to remove, only lots of dead wood. And while at it, I decided to prune for shape... the end result was a dead pine. Hope you are luckier!

  4. I've got to "rescue" my front garden hedge. The ivy is just starting to take hold. Seeing your photos has spurred me into action- before it gets too high!

  5. How satisfying, is there more light getting to the greenhouse? I wonder if the Rowan will start to sprout on the trunk now it is exposed. I think the ivy will die and you will be able to pull it out. Maybe the tree needs a feed just to really make it happy?

  6. You have done well, I'm sure the tree appreciates not having to carry all that weight. My days of climbing a ladder, even a small one, are over, your new one is huge!

  7. I can almost hear the tree cheering you on, what an epic job. I suspect you might have to "help" the topknot remove itself once it dies off though. Hire a cherry-picker?!


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