cleaning up english ivy

My husband and I purchased our first home earlier this year. We have a nice patch of english ivy growing in part of our yard. I love the ivy, it stays in its place (except for a little growing up the trees) and I want to keep it. So then the problem. It is full of poison ivy, tiny trees, leaves and sticks from years of neglect by the previous owner. I have trimmed and pulled and cut the weeds and trees once and don't want to keep doing it. Can anyone give suggestions on cleaning up my beautiful ivy patch without killing the ivy. I'm most concerned about the poison ivy as I am highly alergic.
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Hire someone to remove the poison ivy (health) and be careful later in the area.
oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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You could control it yourself by carefully painting RoundUp on the leaves. The kind that foams up is even easier to use (spray the foam into a cup then apply the foam to the PI with a soft brush.) I've used this method--it works, although can be time-consuming. You can treat PI without touching it, but I would advise against cutting it or pulling it out. You will need to treat PI as it appears each year.
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Phisherman wrote:

Yes, this really works. The technique involves pulling the leaf taut with one (gloved) hand, and paint with the other, though not pulling it works, just not 100%. Three or four leaves per four feet vine usually suffice, if applied in May (best time for this, right now it does not work). I cleaned a patch of pachysandra this way and the next year there was a single vine coming up (out of twenty). I killed that, too, and that was the end of PI. By now the pachysandra is too thick for PI to sprout in. The ivy, too, will eventually close canopy and prevent further sprouting.
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