Killing Poison Ivy

Itchy twig

An innocent looking twig of pain.

So, not freezing anymore, not viscous hot, loblollies haven’t started dropping sneeze-inducing pollen, too windy for mosquitos. Perfect for yard work.

Task one: eliminate the damn poison ivy.

Itchy mass

Evil vines surrounding a loblolly pine.

Poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, is evil. Native, good for wildlife, doesn’t take over a space, birds adore the berries, leaves are pretty and green, but it is evil and needs to go away. It is a sneaky plant with huge hairy vines that it sends growing up trees. Two foot long branches extend out from the center vine, faking that they’re just innocent parts of the supporting tree, but they’re not. They’re evil poison ivy vines, and will leave you with welts and random deposits of indestructible welt inducing oils throughout the house.

The oil is urushiol, and it is present in all parts of the plant, not just the leaves, the saying “leaves of three, let it be” only being useful during a small part of the year. Urushiol is an almost indestructible oil, surviving standard soap and washing. Special soap and near boiling water will remove it, but that’s it. It is easily transferred too, so that one person may go for a nice hike, then come home, brush against a table, and the table will then cause welts. So the plants need to go.

Itchy tools

An unusual amount of supplies for weeding.

So let’s get to this.

Supplies: full sleeve gauntlets, tyvek suit, rubber boots, face mask, clippers, plastic bag for the vines, big ol’ bottle of Tecnu, plastic basin.

To be continued. Probably with welts.

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One Response to Killing Poison Ivy

  1. Pingback: Is it dead? It might be dead. | Curious Needleworks

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