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September 23, 2018

Ways to Protect Your Family Outdoors

MISSION, KS–(Marketwired – Jul 7, 2014) – (Family Features) Before your family begins enjoying the great outdoors during this adventure-filled season, make sure your yard is properly treated to avoid the dangers of poison ivy, oak or sumac.

Learn the proper steps to keep the threat of poisonous plants away from your family and property. Ashton Ritchie, Lawn & Garden Expert and Author offers this expert advice for protecting your family:

Locating the danger
Keeping your family safe begins with proper identification of these harmful, rash-producing plants. In the right environment, poisonous weeds can grow and spread quickly. Using a photo or resource like StopPoisonIvy.com can help identify the various poison weeds and their stages (Poison Ivy often emerges red and only starts to turn green in late spring). Survey your yard once a month, keeping a close eye on these common areas:

  • Ground Cover: A common area for poison ivy is along the edge of a wooded area or around any shaded and less maintained section of the yard.
  • Trees: By disguising itself as part of a tree limb, poison ivy often climbs up trees situated in shady locations.
  • Edges: If you find that poison ivy continues to invade your outdoor space year after year, you may be experiencing the “edge effect,” a phenomenon that occurs when the wooded areas surrounding your yard dry out. Various weeds flourish under such conditions.
  • Stumps: Dead stumps are also a common hangout for these harmful weeds.

Eliminate the threat
Once you have determined where the poison ivy is located, you can work to remove it from your surroundings. Look for a weed-eliminating product that works double-duty, such as Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer, which penetrates the waxy surface of poison ivy, oak, sumac, kudzu and other tough weeds, while also killing at the roots.

  • Wear protection
    Before contact with these poisonous plants, always wear the proper clothing and protection. Be sure to cover your hands with thick, long gloves and wear a long sleeved shirt and pants in case you accidently touch the plants.
  • Choose the right time
    Always choose a calm, wind-free day for applying products to avoid contact with other desirable plants in your yard. If you can, it is best to apply with a temperature above 60 degrees F.
  • Apply a weed-killing solution
    Spray a specialized weed killer, such as Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer on the leaves until saturated, taking care not to apply to nearby trees, grasses and desirable plants. You should always read and follow label directions.
  • Wait for the plant to completely die
    Perennial weeds such as poison ivy may take 4 or more weeks for a complete kill, so be patient and follow the directions on the specialized weed killer packaging.
  • Regularly monitor surroundings
    Keep new weeds from growing by surveying your outdoor areas at least once a month throughout the busy weed-growing months of May through November.

With proper application and monitoring, your family can enjoy all the outdoor fun without the worry. For more tips and tricks, visit www.StopPoisonIvy.com.

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Ways to Protect Your Family Outdoors

Poison ivy: how to identify and kill it without damaging other plants

QUESTION: What’s the best way to get rid of poison ivy? I have it in two locations. The first is in low-growing ligustrums that border my yard, and the second is along my backyard fence. — Dave Plank

ANSWER: Anyone cleaning out overgrown areas or weeding should beware. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) may be growing among the plants. Gardeners often come into contact with poison ivy and many contract a bothersome rash as a result. It pays to be able to identify and avoid it.

The plant has a characteristic compound leaf consisting of three leaflets (Hence the saying, “Leaves of three, let it be”). The leaflets are 2 to 4 inches long and dull or glossy green with pointed tips. The middle leaflet is generally larger than the two laterals.

The margins of the leaflets are variable, appearing irregularly toothed, lobed or smooth. The leaves are arranged alternately on the stems. Young foliage often is shiny or oily looking with a reddish tint.

One way to control poison ivy is to spray the foliage with a systemic herbicide. This is only possible when the spray will not get on the foliage of desirable plants (these herbicides will damage any plant).

This should work well on your back fence. If needed, cover desirable plants with plastic sheets or bags to protect them while you spray. Be sure to wet the poison ivy foliage thoroughly with the herbicide solution.

Glyphosate (Roundup, Eraser, Killzall, and other brands) or triclopyr (Brush-B-Gon, Brush Killer and other brands) are commonly recommended for poison ivy control. Herbicides that contain a combination of dicamba (banvel) and 2,4-D also work well.

The dead leaves can still cause rashes and should be handled cautiously with gloves.

For poison ivy vines growing in trees or intertwined in shrubs, such as in your ligustrum hedge, try this method: Cut off each poison ivy vine a few inches from the ground with loppers or hand pruners and immediately treat the fresh-cut stump with undiluted triclopyr (Green Light Cut Vine and Stump Killer and other brands). The cut vine will die because it has no root system. The treated stump will die because the herbicide gets absorbed and translocates to the roots. This method is effective and may be used any time of the year.

Getting poison ivy off your property will take repeated herbicide applications. Older vines in neighboring yards may continue to drop seeds in your landscape. Watch out for this unwelcome plant and be prompt and aggressive in your efforts to control it.

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Poison ivy: how to identify and kill it without damaging other plants

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