How to Get Rid of Ivy

If you have ivy cover on trees and on the ground around your house, you can eradicate it with the right tools and persistence.


  • Step 1: Find an edge and pull the ivy back like a sheet. Then dig out and cut away the roots using a hand cultivator and hand pruner. Cut especially thick stems with a folding-handle saw. Have a helper continue to pull and roll the carpet of ivy while you continue to dig and cut.
  • Step 2: Pack the cut ivy in black plastic bags and seal them tightly. Then put the bags in a sunny location, turning them occasionally to ensure even drying. Never put ivy in a compost pile, as it only serves to promote growth.
  • Step 3: Transfer the dried ivy to a yard waste receptacle, wait for pickup, and get back to enjoying your yard.
  • FACT: Though generally considered a vine, English Ivy is actually a climbing shrub.
  • Step 4: Liberally spray ground ivy with herbicide in the spring or early summer. Spraying the budding leaves allows the poison to penetrate the ivy's root system. Deeper into the growing season, ivy develops a waxy layer that renders herbicides ineffective.
  • Step 5: Leave the vines to dry in loose piles on the ground. Then, in six to 12 months return to remove new growth. The plants will have to be removed from the tree periodically until all of the ivy on the ground is removed.
  • TIP: Exposure to ivy dust can trigger an asthma or bronchial attack for people with breathing sensitivities.
  • Step 6: Remove ivy from trees by prying the vines away from the tree with a screwdriver and cutting the stems with a pruner. Cut the vines in two places and remove the center section to prevent stems from knitting together.
  • TIP: Be careful not to remove tree bark along with the ivy. Damaging the bark can leave the tree exposed and vulnerable to invasive organisms.
  • Step 7: Put on your gloves -- ivy leaves have oil that can cause an irritating rash on people with sensitive skin. Wear safety goggles if you don't wear glasses, and use a respirator if you suffer from any kind of breathing difficulties.

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