October 14, 2019

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.

Link to article:  

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

Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor