Cutting Ivy Plants

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charliesteve | 20:21 Tue 09th Mar 2021 | Home & Garden
36 Answers
Is there any danger to health by cutting ivy that is strangling other plant growth. Trying my hand at gardening having never had a garden before. Thanks. Steve


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Heed Buenchico, Charlie. Keep some ivy. It's a wonderful plant to have in a garden for many reasons. I love ivy. My late husband didn't. I covered his coffin in ivy and white flowers. He would have smiled...x
20:34 Tue 09th Mar 2021
No, it will be fine. Just wear gardening gloves.
Hedera helix (English climbing ivy) is totally unrelated to American poison ivy. As with cutting any plant, there's a very small risk of contact dermatitis when you get the sap on your skin but the only protection you need is a pair of gardening gloves.

However ivy is generally to be welcomed in garden, so you shouldn't cut it back more than you really need to:
Heed Buenchico, Charlie. Keep some ivy. It's a wonderful plant to have in a garden for many reasons. I love ivy. My late husband didn't. I covered his coffin in ivy and white flowers. He would have smiled...x
Ivy is a pain!

I removed a whole chunk of it a couple of years ago & inhaled a dead leaf. It blocked my windpipe & I was choking, thought I should go to hospital but eventually managed to cough it up,

It will kill trees, affect brickwork and gutterings - DESTROY IT!
>>> It will kill trees

Er, how's that meant to happen then? Ivy is NOT parasitic, so it's hard to see how a bit of ivy climbing up a tree is going to do it any harm.

The Royal Horticultural Society states
"Ivy growing on trees is often thought to be a serious problem, endangering the health of even very large trees. However, its presence on the trunk is not damaging and where it grows into the crown this is usually only because the trees are already in decline or are diseased and slowly dying"
"On most trees that are in sound health and are not being grown for their attractive bark, ivy can be allowed to grow on the trunk without concern for the tree's health or vigour"
(See my link above)

The Woodland Trust concurs:
"Ivy has long been accused of strangling trees, but it doesn’t harm the tree at all, and even supports at least 50 species of wildlife"
Ivy doesn't affect brickwork if the brickwork is sound. If it's not sound it can be good for the brickwork til you need/want to renew or repair.
It can offer benefits to the structure of old buildings. It buffers extremes of temperature and diminishes the detrimental effect of pollution.
Keep it clear of guttering and down pipes and ivy will be a beautiful addition to your garden.
I have grown ivy up trees to benefit bees and insects. Dealt with properly it's a lovey and useful plant.

Thank you, Charlie, for BA. For the first time in my adult life I'm without a garden. Do let us know how you are doing with your new adventure....x
You posted as I was typing, Buenchico....excellent post. In my last garden I had a bird box completely hidden in ivy growing up a tree. Bees took over the bird box and it was a summer of bliss watching them form a guard around the hole in the box.
Being a late-flowering plant, it's very good for the bees in autumn.
The flowers are also a late welcome addition to the bee population. Along the lane where we used to live, when the sun shone in October'November the Ivy part of the hedge was alive with nectar seeking insects.
The berries are also a very welcome food source for birds in early Spring.
Only drawback for me is the huge number of seedlings which appear all over the garden, but that is a small price to pay for such a useful plant.
Not a brilliant photo, I know. These were the bees around the hole in the bird box hidden in the ivy on a tree.
I couldn't photograph the complete hole without disturbing them but it was just wonderful to see the bees in a circle guarding the box.
Gness -you are without a garden? have you recently moved house, cos not so long ago you had a new garden shed erected and not long before that you relayed a story of how you found sheep grazing in your garden!
I have Ivy on a garden wall, but I cut back regularly to prevent it growing on the house. It can loosen mortar.
Also, it is a rather boring plant that does very little of merit.
The ivy is home to our ladybirds and other precious creatures who use them as shelter over winter. Please do not cut it down until at least mid Spring when you see the ladybirds up and about. Just kept trimmed, it does have its uses.
Oh dear, Polly. Another unnecessary dig at me.
I moved two years ago. I moved from a house with a beautiful made by me garden to a house in Ireland in the middle of a very large field. The field is rock and bog, as often found in this part of Ireland. Impossible to cultivate but in exactly the place Dave and I wanted to live, the edge of a village and by the sea.
Despite much thought by Dave and myself and advice from locals and experts it would be impossible to make a garden here.
Yes, as you have noticed, I have had two sheds built. One for my fiddling with crafts and one for our bikes. Both raised on blocks above the level of flooding caused by the rock and bog.
Yes we have had sheep, cows and hares arrive in what we call our garden. I will in future call it our boggy, rocky field for your benefit.
-- answer removed --
And you should get a life.
Please excuse the derailment of your nice thread, Charlie. I'm afraid that Polly, now and in her many previous guises, just likes to have a go at me.

Ivy's not a boring plant...keep some...even just a little and you will see how wonderful it is...hide a bird box in it just for fun!.... :-)
Ivy or oy vey?

Play nice now, and no tag teams. :-P
Sorry - I omitted to note that APG had derailed an otherwise useful thread in Home & Garden rather than in CB - perhaps a moderator could remove my tetchy post and tidy up anything else as they see fit.



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