You may have English Ivy in your yard which has many benefits. It helps to with erosion by slowing down rain water run off. Its root structure is key to holding the dirt together. It looks nice as a ground cover all year round. Only during a small window in our area when it gets really cold does it not look lush and green.
It also causes problems if left unchecked. It will grow up a tree if not trimmed periodically. That will eventually kill the tree. In general it is a creeping plant. It will go from one end of the yard to the other if the conditions are right. Ticks like Ivy too… the reason is for one, Deer like to eat portions of the plants. While we like our Deer we don’t like Ticks – so by trimming them back it helps to keep the population low.
My mission was to trim back the English Ivy and also other plants growing in this area. There were small bushes that looked ragged, twigs and small branches that have fallen from trees. Saplings somewhat stunted and not growing well. We overall wanted to have a presentation of a well kept yard and forest that fits our “vacation” home.
Bush Hog Rental
So with that, I headed out to Home Depot to rent a powered walk behind Billy Goat bush hog. The model was a BC26 Series Outback® Fixed Deck Brushcutter26″ Fixed Deck Brush-cutter. My Nephew also said he would give a hand, and a welcomed one at that. So we got back from Home Depot and fired up the Bush Hog – we were ready to see what this machine could do.
A little about this BC26 Series: The 26″ wide rigid deck commercial-duty brush hog provides excellent stability in deep vegetation. The heavy-duty blade spindle is reinforced on four sides to tackle the toughest cutting conditions, including thick brush up to 6′ high, grass and weeds over 8′ tall, and saplings up to 2.0″ diameter. The heavy-duty mechanical trans-axle, featuring three speeds and reverse, combines the transmission and differential into one sealed package with no linkages to snag on brush.Billy Goat Industries, Inc.
English Ivy Mowing With A Billy Goat Brush Cutter
Once we made it home, you could almost see that the English Ivy was cowering in fear of the Billy Goat brush cutter. We fired the machine up and it started with no problem. Only a turn of the key. Since the wheels are power driven, it was easy to back off the trailer and get to the area of the yard that needed attention.
We started to “mow” the huge flat level area first. The only thing to know about using one the Billy Goat, is that it would basically cut down anything in our path up to maybe 3″ around. As you can see in the picture above it did an Awesome job. Small “trees” and vegetation were no match for this machine.
Steep Hill With A Motorized Billy Goat Brush Cutter
As you could imagine, if we did not have a motorized Billy Goat it would be next to impossible to trim the English Ivy back. I suppose you could use a weed-eater (and I have) but for the amount of space we are working on, it needed a larger machine.
We gathered up several piles of fallen branches and limbs. Then we had a semi clear path to get started to mow the English Ivy down.
Accidents Happen With A Billy Goat Brush Cutter
At one point, due to the steep grade the bush hog went for a tumble down the hill. We waited for a minute and she fired right up. These are one tough machines! My Nephew was a little worried that the Billy Goat was ruined. I told him, we know it was an accident and he did not flip the machine down the hill on purpose. This is why you opt in for the extra insurance too.
I did not get the best pictures of this activity but hopefully you can see the paths and how much it was cut down. After we finished up the next day, I went back to spray the remaining Ivy. It did not Kill off the Ivy but it did slow down the growth.
HOW TO CONTROL – English Ivy – A great erosion control plant, but it can grow out of control quickly. You don’t want it growing on your house or trees as it can cause damage to your house as well as kill trees.
Total Time: P1DT6H0M
Overview of Steps to control English Ivy
Get a Billy Goat Brush Cutter
Remove Sticks and Fallen Limbs
Start the Brush Cutter and get moving
- Billy Goat Rental @ Home Depot: $135 for 24 hours
- Insurance $15
- Trailer $19.95 for the first 24 hours
A great project that brought INSTANT change to our yard by reducing the English Ivy and keeping the ivy in locations that help erosion and the original intent of the plant.
Until next time!