Whilst English ivy (Hedera helix) provides some lovely features and screens in our gardens this is very aggressive when out of control. 

The Dandenong Ranges in Victoria (see video) are similar to Mt Wilson/Mt Irvine with the basalt soil and ornamental gardens and have a similar problem to the mounts with Ivy growing up trees and sometimes enveloping the whole tree.

Ivy is rampant in the village and eradication is difficult.  However, we can all do something to limit the spread of ivy. Ivy flowers and produces fruit when it climbs up a tree and the seeds are then carried into gardens and the bush by birds. English ivy will eventually choke and kill trees, even big ones, both natives and exotics.  To stop it spreading we need to focus on ivy growing on trees.  

Tree Fern Treatment

For tree ferns the task is more complex as the ivy roots grow into the trunk. To kill the ivy the stems must be scraped with a knife and the herbicide applied to the ivy stem wound, being careful to avoid the tree fern trunk. This is best done in the growing season October to end April.

Non Tree Fern Tree Treatment

For other trees the process is much easier.  Just cut the Ivy at the base and the Ivy should die. It is best also clearing about 1 m from the base of the tree.  (see video)


Glyphosate (Roundup) is a herbicide that is used for killing English Ivy. Please note special care must be taken when using Glyphosate. The MWPA accepts no responsibility for the use or application of any chemicals. Always check the labels and Safety Data Sheets for all chemicals and use only as directed. 

Please note that the Blue Mountains Basalt Forest in around Mt Wilson is a ‘Blue Mountains Sensitive Vegetation Community’ so extreme care needs to be taken when controlling weeds in bushland areas. The only weed control methods recommended in sensitive areas are ‘scrape and paint’, ‘cut and paint’ and ‘stem injection’. If in any doubt about how to control weeds on your property consider using an accredited weed control contractor.

Other Usefull references:

Weedwise Weed of the Month - English Ivy

Weedwise - English Ivy - Best Practices

WikiHow - How to kill English Ivy