Saturday, 1 October 2022

That Ivy may have Grown Again

 Ivy is by many considered just a creeper.  Some love it. others rip their hair out illuminating the plant from anywhere it is. Like any plant there are things underground that may cause unseen hassles to house and land owners.

In this post there was a challenge with the Ivy plant that grows over the concrete sleeper under the back fence. For over twenty-five years that little plant has had a hold of the ground and it just will not give up growing ... yet.

Twelve months later and still a challenge

Over the last six months tools have been added to the equipment list.  Yes, there were tools like chainsaws already in the equipment.  But, these were 'someone else's'. Way to heavy for the wrists of me... a retiree with no training in the tools or safety for the more complex out-of-the-box challenges. 

This job was defiantly what was called different in it's approach.

Thus help was asked for. The tools were there ready and waiting. Including the hard hat that had earmuffs and face shield.

The situation presented was this...

Imagine an A5 standard sheet of computer printing paper. Landscape view.  Now that width is the width of a trunk based Ivy spread over the concrete  that sits between the earth, and the fence.  Mind you those fence palings are really very thin, thus fragile.

Add the fact that the fence is held in place by vertical 4x4 inch stakes.  Well, maybe these stakes are meant to be in the ground. But they are not  as they sit three inches higher than the horizontal concrete slab.  

The conundrum is this:

  •  Cut the lowest point and the tool you use now has the possibility of being destroyed due to concrete, or bolts too close.
  • The space the tool needs to work in has two dogs on the other side of the fence.
  • While even scrapping away the earth  to expose the lower areas may just make things easier, the tool you have has a 'bar' above the blade. The height of the bar reduces the access
The experienced person said... 
    "No !. I will not cut that with the extendable chainsaw. Maybe an axe. " 
    "The tool will be damaged beyond repair if it hits 
  • the concrete [footpath/under the fence slabs], 
  • the bots [sticking out of the fence posts],
  • or the wire [ holding the palings together.]

Logically explained the hopes of a quick solution went south!

After an hour of cutting wedges, pulling out roots, removing dead sticks, to small branches, the 4in chain say just is barely making head way.  

Until you actually take a minute to realise there is a lot of sawdust, smaller branches have been pulled away. Now nicely sitting in a tidy pile on the blue shade cloth.

But the trunk has not been cut through yet. 

What has happened is there is a very public area of this ivy stem that has both no bark on there, but there are positive indentations , in a hap hazard way, where the chain saw has done a wonderful job.

One container of weed killer later, over these areas, and some more on the Ivy's fresh growth at a third growth point made the day.

This year is slightly different from last year

It may already be coming into spring here but its time already to beat the Ivy before the spring growth startles you.  All  this past year the determination to get rid of the ivy along the fence, make way for the chicken coup fences has taken a quiet precedence.

Ivy may look great in other peoples gardens, but that little thing that someone planted years ago has taken a lot to get rid of.  Understandably there is still more to go. 

With determination and tools

What truly amazes is that the little 4inch blade chainsaw is an extremely effective tool.  While tall trees and giant root systems are not in it's 'doable' list what you have there while working is a way to create an indentation , tackle the problem with other systematic tool use, clean up the area and quite happy note the tool needs attention.

All things one at a time

The battery gets recharged, plus the tool itself gets a one over with its friendly paintbrush.

After the battery recharge was done, everything is packed up in the box, including the paint brush.  The shed is locked . The garden tools are in their little shed. the rubbish now in the green waste bins, along with the worms that were disturbed. These worms hopefully will enjoy the recently freshly turned compost.

Importantly the area is safe again

The area that had been exposed in order to see these roots and bits is now safely covered up again.  What's not there is the possibility of so many small bits of Ivy sticks or roots.

As important is the gradual illimitation of the roots in the water boards drains.

No matter what happens each year knowing that the ivy may have grown again allows no rest.

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