English ivy may look attractive on old buildings, but in many cases it can be a menace. It can smother trees, stopping new leaves from budding out and blocking out the sun they require for photosynthesis. In addition, it spreads quickly and outcompetes native plants, making it a menace to whole ecosystems. Unfortunately, English Ivy can be tenacious and difficult to remove.
Cut aerial Ivy from the ground with pruning shears. If you are trying to remove ivy from around the tree, cut the ivy down to about ankle heigh in a circle 3 to 6 feet wide around the tree. If you are trying to remove it from a wall, just cut any ivy vines attached to the wall. The high vines will not be able to reroot, and will dry out on their own.
Pull out the Ivy roots by hand. If the Ivy roots are stubborn or the ground is particularly dense, you may want to dig them out instead. If the ivy plant is on a slope or in any area prone to erosion, you may wish to skip this step.
Thoroughly cover the ivy plants with boiling water if there is a whole mat of it and there is nothing you want to survive nearby. Be careful to fully cover the plant. Boiling water will kill English ivy and any other plant.
Plant native ground cover after your kill English ivy. Grass, shrubs or other native plants will stop any spare roots you missed from regrowing.