Garden expert shares ‘safe’ and ‘non-toxic’ method for banishing ivy

Gardening: How to remove ivy from brickwork and trees

In the summer months, certain climbing plants can be a lovely addition to a garden. In fact, English ivy cascading down a fence or climbing up a building can look attractive.

However, if ivy is left unchecked, it can cause damage to garden fences and even a property’s structure.

In some cases, foundation repair costs in the UK can be in the region of £7,500 to £9,500 depending on the size of the property and the extent of the damage.

One plant that can be particularly destructive is ivy. The plant spreads rapidly and can grow densely, shading out certain plants which can suppress their growth.

The plant can also grow up trees which can eventually topple trees and branches if the weight becomes too heavy.

With this in mind, Chris Ross, the director of Direct Building Products, the UK’s leading render experts, has shared how to manage ivy and how to avoid any potential damage.

Ivy can be a feature on some homes all year round and can create cracks in the structure of the building which can allow damp to leak through.

Chris said due to its “strong attachment” to walls, the plant can be a concern for some homeowners as it may “damage wall surfaces or block drains and gutters”.

He continued: “With a survey and report, alongside the physical removal of ivy, the price can cost around £600.

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“In the worst case scenario of property damage on top, this whole process could potentially cost you £10,100.”

How to destroy ivy at home

Homeowners who notice ivy growing in advance should try hand-bulling and uprooting an area, according to the expert.

This method can be laborious and time-consuming but it will result in the least amount of regrowth.

In areas where the plant has grown more thickly, Chris suggests using a rake to uproot the plant.

If there’s ivy growing up the walls, cut the ivy at the stems to cause the plant to “dry out”.

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He continued: “White vinegar is also a safe, non-toxic method to kill the plant.

“Spray with vinegar, salt and soap directly onto the leaves and allow the acid content to kill the plant within a few days.”

Ivy does provide shelter for wildlife so gardeners need to be careful when they use herbicides or other methods to remove the plant.

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