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December 13, 2017

Archives for September 2014

Practicing Health – Knowing the difference between poison ivy, oak or sumac can prevent a reaction

Original post: 

Practicing Health – Knowing the difference between poison ivy, oak or sumac can prevent a reaction

Eagle Scout using goats to attain scouting honor

WARRENVILLE, Ill. (WLS) —

What do you get when you mix together an award-winning Boy Scout and 38 goats? You get a story about poison ivy and huge appetites.

A beautiful day at Blackwell Forest Preserve near west suburban Warrenville. A beautiful day for people, and for goats eating enough to bust their bellies. It’s a 10-hour day for these vegetarian, nonstop leaf munchers. And it’s all because of Eagle Scout Gavin Burseth.

“We have 38 goats eating poison ivy,” he said. “They’re eating all the other invasive plants here today. And they’ll be fertilizing the land also and bringing back the native vegetation.”

Burseth is already an Eagle Scout and he’s now working for one of the scout’s highest honors, The Hornaday Award. He has already completed two conservation projects towards that goal this is the last part of his big test.

“It’s a really hard award,” Burseth said. “Last year only five scouts got this award last year. So it’s really hard to win.

This is a favorite spot for campers in this DuPage County Forest Preserve. They camp here, they hike here and yes there’s lots of poison ivy.

“The poison ivy was pretty extensive through this area and we really wanted to control it,” said Burseth.

He is working with his older brother Derek, who owns a company called “Thor Goats Eco Lawn Care” and together the brothers and the goats are an environmental super team.

Goats, as you probably know, can eat almost anything. Their stomachs are like Kevlar, bulletproof. So these are the perfect employees for this job.

“They’ll never take a break until the sun sets. Even after that they’d probably work the whole night through,” Derek Burseth said.

There is a low voltage fence to keep the goats in and people out, so no goat-napping, please.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Eagle Scout using goats to attain scouting honor

Angie's List: Removing poison ivy, oak or sumac

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A weekend spent working in the yard can turn into an itchy, uncomfortable nightmare, if you don’t steer clear of poisonous plants.

It is important to be able to identify and remove poison ivy, oak or sumac.

Homeowner Shirley Branham loves tending to her yard and garden, but she can’t seem to escape the itchy wrath of poison ivy. Every summer, for the past ten years, she’s suffered through a horrible rash.

“I usually just noticed one or two little dots which eventually unfortunately then spread all the way up my arm or on my legs,” Shirley says.

The key to avoiding a rash like Shirley’s is knowing how to spot these poisonous plants.

Poison ivy grows in all areas of the continental US.

Poison oak is most common on the west coast, but it’s also found in southeastern states.

Poison sumac grows in swampy areas of the southeast.

Emily Wood, a horticulturist, says, “Poison oak and poison ivy look fairly similar, but poison sumac has much more leaflets, more leaves on the leaflet.”

Birds often feed on the berries of these plants and consequently spread the seeds, so look for the plants in areas where birds hang out , on or under trees or near fences.

The plants can grow to great lengths, so you may need help to get rid of them.

Many lawn care companies won’t go near these plants, but there are some that do specialize in removal.

Angie Hicks, from Angie’s List, says, “During the hiring process be sure to cover how the company is going to tackle the problem. Are they going to use chemicals to remove the plants? Are they going to dig the plants up? How long do they guarantee their work? Will they come back if the plant reappears? Also, don’t forget these plants like to spread so if the plant is in your neighbor’s yard you want to understand that problem as well.”

You may be able to tackle smaller plants on your own, but be sure to wear protective clothing and know how to properly dispose of the plants.

Wood says, “Most of the time it’s probably best to put it in a plastic bag and throw it away, but keep in mind, that anything that touches it will carry the oil and you can get the contact dermatitis from the oil.”

Now you have the right information, if you’re itching to get started.

All parts of these plants produce urushiol, the oil that causes the rash.

It can stay on clothing and garden tools for up to five years.

You should never burn these plants or use a weed eater or lawn mower to get rid of them; you’ll just distribute the oil.

How to identify Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac

• Where do these plants grow? Poison ivy grows in all areas of the continental U.S. Poison oak is most common on the West Coast, but it’s also found in Southeastern states and poison sumac grows in swampy areas of the Southeast.

• What do the plants look like?

Poison ivy: Has compound leaves with three leaflets that connect to a single stem. Young poison ivy leaves are light green and have serrated or toothed edges. Can grow as a vine or a shrub.

Poison sumac: Has nine to 13 leaflets per stem. The leaves are round with pointed tips. Grows as a shrub or small tree.

Poison oak: Has three leaflets that connect to a single stem. Its leaves resemble oak tree leaves. Grows as a vine or a shrub.

• Where could it be in my yard? Birds often feed on the berries of these plants and consequently spread the seeds, so look for the plants in areas where birds hang out – on or under trees or near fences.

How to remove these plants:

• Hire a pro: These plants can grow to great lengths, so you may need help to get rid of them. Angie’s List found some lawn care companies won’t go near the plants, but there are other companies who specialize solely in this type of removal. Ask questions before hiring such as: 1.) Will you use chemicals or dig out the plant? 2.) How long do you guarantee your work? 3.) What happens if the plant returns?

• DIY: You may be able to tackle smaller plants on your own, but be sure to wear protective clothing, clean garden tools, and know how to properly dispose the plants. Urushiol may remain active on clothing, garden tools and camping gear for up to 5 years, so it’s important to wash all items that come in contact with poison ivy. You should never burn the plants or use a weed eater or lawn mower to get rid of them – you’ll just distribute the oil.

Original article – 

Angie's List: Removing poison ivy, oak or sumac

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