Published on April 15th, 2013 | by Henri


Removing ivy from chimney

Q.    Can you give some advice on the best way to remove ivy that is growing up the outside of a chimney. The chimney is covered and is three stories tall. From the ground, I can see that the ivy has grown out and gotten under some shingles on the roof.

Is it best to kill it by cutting it off at the root? Letting winter remove all the leaves, or going after it right away? What would you recommend? While it’s pretty, I think it may be starting to do some damage.

A.    Ivy clinging to stone walls on old buildings (such as the ones in the school where I taught for a few years in my much younger days, not all of which are completely forgotten) is beautiful indeed, but it can cause some damage. It is more likely to be a problem on brick buildings and it certainly is a problem on wood houses.

If your chimney is built with stones, you may simply want to have the ivy pruned so it does not come in contact with any wood and stays away from your roof. But if the chimney is built with bricks, I would suggest cutting the ivy off at the ground level and pulling off as much of it as you can at the same time. There will be a lot of tendrils left; they can be burned off with a butane torch.

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