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Horse Chestnut Covered in Ivy

Q: I have a large horse chestnut tree which is covered in ivy.(species unknown) I have cut the ivy at base of tree, but I have been told that the ivy can re-root higher in the tree.

Is this true and if so what can I do?
Regards, John

A: I've not known ivy to re-root up in the tree once it's been cut at the ground, but I suppose anything can happen, at least once.

Unless the type of ivy you have is an epiphyte (aka an "air plant", such as a lichen, that lives on another but not as a parasite), I doubt this will happen.

Should the ivy remain alive anyway, you can try an application of a non-selective herbicide. You don't need to spray the entire plant, just enough of the foliage for it to absorb the herbicide and transport it.

The product that seems to work best is one that contains glysophate (sorry, I can't tell you the brand name), but other non-selective herbicides can also do the job. Be very very careful when you apply it, and don't get it on the trunk, branches or root flares.

Herbicides can penetrate into the bark and cause damage, creating a whole other set of potential problems.

You may need to do more than one application, too. Be sure to read AND follow the instructions on the product label.

More is NOT better, so dilute the product properly unless it's in a ready-to-use formulation. Good luck!

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Tom Mugridge

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