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We've just in herited a garden with a house that we bought at the end of last month. There is a monster amount of Ivy all over the place, to the point of it's choaking all other plants in the garden.#
We certainly need to thin out the ivy if not get rid of it totally from certain places, and we are also very aware we have sparrows and blackbirds and possibly even a couple of dove nesting in it at various points around the garden.
Could anyone please suggest a way of hacking back this bully to give the trees and other plants a chance without disturbing the birds too much or are we just going to have to wait until the chicks have fledged?!
I think you'll have to wait until the chicks have gone to do anything major.
However, there's nothing to stop you cutting the stems at the bases where you know that there are no nests - then those pieces at least will die and be able to be pulled out more easily later.
You can start by severing the stems at the base. You can do that now and it won't affect birds nesting. I did that a few years back and it took at least three months before there was any sign of the leaves dying, because they got all their moisture from their aerial roots. I was able to pull the stems away from the wall and trees about six months later, without any trouble. You will need to check carefully to make sure you have identified all the main stems.
Meanwhile, watch out for any new shoots emerging at ground level, and zap them with glyphosate. Young leaves absorb the stuff a lot more easily than the more mature leaves.
Birds can have more than one brood, so you should leave the main clearance until August time. You can then treat the ivy more liberally with glyphosate. By then you will be able to spot which strands you have not already disconnected from their roots. You should add a few drops of detergent to the glyphosate to help it stick to the glossy leaves. The glyphosate will continue to work right through the autumn, as the ivy will still be active at this stage. Use a hand spray and take care not to get any spillage onto leafy plants.
Thanks both for such a quick response. We'll start with taking a chunk out of the stems for now at least we can feel like we've made a start without causing any problems for the birds, and crack on in the late summer early autumn with the rest.
It's much apperciated, we weren't quite sure where to start there's so much of it in such a small space!
Thanks for the info peeps