Any advise for a ivy covered tree?


Oct 17, 2005
I got a big poplar to do this weekend or the next, 80-90 footer. Its covered in ivy damn near all the way to the top. Its all rope work... Any advise? Im just figuring it will make spiking up a pain but other than that fairly straight forward...
No crane? I usually just start stomping up, cutting all the vines as I go, fighting for every vertical foot upwards.

I hate doing that, but if I'm gonna have to be blocking the thing down I might as well clean it off as I ascend.
Boy, Jim, sounds like a miserable tree. Yeah, damn ivy trees like that are full of bugs and crud, dirty SOB's, fighting them all the way. Advise? Hmm, don't do it unless their paying extra for the pain and misery.
I've tried setting a line with a pulley and having a couple guys pull me up while I stomp and scamper, but I really hated fighting those vines when they're thick. That method is more suited to a more sparse growth of vines.
Interesting, I didn't figure it would be any more difficult other than trying to find tie-in points.
Shows what I know.
New Orleans... ivy trees... poison mostly. Miserable work especially if they're laced to other trees. Spiking still works you just have to be sure the gaffs are in on each step. Like they said... ants and bugs and lizards and stuff. If the vines are strong you have to make sure you cut'em before pushing blocks.
Go over now and cut all the vines around the base of the tree. Most types of vines will be easier to get out of your way if they are dead or dying. I prefer having a week or two to let them die off before trying to work the tree. Ring the tree with your saw and then ring it again a foot higher. Remove all the vines between your two rings. That way you're 100% sure you've cut them all.
Yeah, killing it a couple of weeks before hand works better than having it all green and fluffed up in your face. You can see better how the vines wrap around the trunks when you're cutting it. Still dirty and miserable though.
It's usually a 100 yard fight.

Careful if you're cutting Ivy close to your face and that saw.

Flipline is usually hidden.

I'm talking english Ivy, almost 3' thick at spots.

Have Fun.

Plenty of critters in IVy, Scorpions, centipedes, birds, rats, cats, a homeless guy per chance.

I agree, cut the ivy from the bottom.
Cut the tree too, if you have the room.


  • IMG_0323_768x1024.jpg
    224.3 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_0315_1024x768.jpg
    255.9 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_0317_1024x768.jpg
    341 KB · Views: 8
If the Ivy is real bad:O...cutting it won't make a bit of diffrence. I have removed trees with dead Ivy that was so stout I still had to cut it. I remove Ivy from the top down.....So I suggest SRT to the top via an outer limb to keep you off the main trunk. Once at the tips, and destroy. It will be a wrestling match and pure suffreage at points. I usually cut all the vines if I have to place a block/strap since they will cause slippage. A removal is easier then an Ivy strip...Keep in mind the potential for bees. Don't become a sitting duck. other then that....preapre to f'in CUSS!:\:

ps..since you can't see the limbs/trunk, beware of hollows.....go light if your skeered.
That was after about an hour almost two.
Reaching, cutting, tossing, wrestling,
it's great practice for begginers just starting to wear spurs.

Pretty lame pic actually but I know I was proud then to have taken it..


  • IMG_0381_1024x768.jpg
    267.8 KB · Views: 5
The problem with SRT as I see it is that ivy can hide nasty defects. Poplars aren't the strongest trees to start out with either. Make certain to score the ivy on any tops you may take out with a falling cuts. Ivy if it is connected can screw up hinging.

One time we had a multi-day job pulling ivy out of pretty good sized redwoods. As I was going up I found some beautiful little baby birds in a nest that was hidden in the ivy. I managed to take all the ivy out and leave that piece. When I came to the job the next day the customer said, "The trees looked great. You just missed one spot but we were able to blast it off with our hose."
Well, Ivy for sure hides defects. Pic a big crotch...then bounce test the shat outta it. Surf past sea of green/bees/whatnot. Destroy from above:evil:
I agree on the SRT approach, along with the warnings attendent to it's use. Much easier than spurring up through that mess. That said, I've only done 5 or 6 english ivy messes, but for me SRT up and dismantle down after conversion to DbRT worked out the best.
Death from above? Ivy does come off easier that way. Ed/ Thor's Hammerd did a cool job stripping ivy off a castle wall in Germany. They got it to peel of the wall and then just ran back and forth, stripping it off until the weight of the sloughed off ivy pulled the rest off the wall.
or there's always.....
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>