How to Kill English Ivy by Burning


English ivy can be a blessing or a curse on a landscape, depending on what the homeowner desires. This ivy is very invasive and is most common in the Pacific Northwest. When controlled, it provides an attractive foliage on trees, houses, fences and forest floors. When left uncontrolled, it can take over just about any type of vegetation and prevent sun from reaching other plants, causing them to die. If you choose to kill English ivy, one effective method of doing this is by burning. The key to doing this is to ensure you have a fire permit and to make sure you get rid of all the English ivy.

Step 1

Contact your local fire department to find out how to obtain a fire permit. Town regulations vary depending on your region, with some allowing yard trash fires and others requiring a contained burn barrel.

Step 2

Remove as much of the English ivy as possible manually, using pruning shears and sharp hedge trimmers. Cut all around the bottom of the ivy to severe it from the root system. Use your hands to pull the vines away from the surface of whatever it is grasping on to, such as the side of a house or a tree. Although this is time-consuming and very laborious, it is the most effective way to remove the ivy from a surface. Pile all of the ivy into a pile at the side.

Step 3

Use a crowbar if needed to remove any thick-stemmed pieces of ivy, usually the oldest part of the vine. You can pry these away from the surface and cut them with the pruning shears.

Step 4

Remove as much of the shallow root system as possible, pulling upward from the ground.

Step 5

Build a small fire following the necessary regulations of your location. Start burning the English ivy by adding small vine piles to the fire. Continue to add more vines to the fire, allowing them to burn before adding more. Burning the ivy is the best way to ensure it will be destroyed. Burn all of the ivy you ripped off until the pile is reduced to ashes.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Sharp hedge trimmers
  • Crowbar
  • Shovel
  • Contained burn barrel or other enclosure


  • English Ivy Can Be Blamed For Many Landscape Problems
  • The United States National Arboretum: Invasive Plants
  • Walter Reeves: English Ivy - Control
Keywords: killing ivy, burning ivy, eliminating english ivy

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.