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.