poison ivy in apple orchards?

coengSeptember 18, 2012

Went apple picking with my kids yesterday. It was so nice out we were all wearing shorts. Noticed after a while (as the kids and I were walking in tall grass/vegetation around and underneath the trees) that there was an abundance of what looked to me like poison ivy plants. Can anyone confirm by looking at the pics below? So far no one has exhibited any symptoms.

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Yup, that's poison ivy alright. It's quite common in orchards in the East.

Unfortunately it can take a few days to develop symptoms, so you're not out of the woods yet. If you washed your legs, socks, shoes, etc. since, you may have gotten rid of the oils that produce the dermatitis. If not, touching any of those things can spread the still present oils to other parts of the body where they can cause the dermatitis. That's how the rash often "spreads" around the body. If you get it, caladryl/calamine, and no scratching really help.

Good luck...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:15AM
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My yard in Raleigh NC is surrounded by forest which is full of massive poison ivy vines. Keeping it out of my garden is a constant battle. I can spray it or pull it but new plants are always showing up. Seedlings of it come up in the lawn and get atomized when I run over them with the mower. It is a royal pain and something that a lot of people do not understand. Whenever I hear someone talking about gardening chemical free the first thing that comes to mind is "you must not have poison ivy and fire ants".

I do not react strongly to poison ivy but I usually have it somewhere on my body all summer long. Co-workers react strong enough to need medical attention, so different people react differently. The rash generally goes away in 10 to 15 days and seems to be hard-to-ignore for only 4 or 5 days of that period. I find that splashing the rash with super hot water a couple of times a day helps me deal with it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:09AM
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John, in a similar situation I did the following. First, to eliminate the source, I went around and cut every massive vine at the base. I asked my neighbor permission to do it to their vines. The massive vines will then send up a million suckers, but will no longer fruit. For those on my land, they can be mowed or painted with Round up (cardboard and mulch will not work, as there are massive roots underneath). Painting them allows one to not kill nearby plants, while helping kill the roots underneath. I have not had anything except small rashes in ten years.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Oh boy. We may be in trouble, especially if we have to wait a few days to be sure. I've never had a reaction to poison ivy (I'm 39) so I'm pretty sure I'll be okay. Its my kids that I worry about.

Stupid apple orchard should put up warning signs.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:05AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


I have some good news for you.....people say you can get poison ivy just from touching the plant and that is generally speaking not true. As long as the plant is undamaged you are ok as the oil that causes the reaction is not on the outside of the leaf. So unless a bug had chewed it or you in some way damaged the plant you will not get it just by walking through it gently or if it brushes against you or by walking on it.

I still remember the time a neighbor took a weedeater to a bunch of it not knowing what it was.....while wearing shorts. It was not pretty and he ended up have to get steroid shots to help ease the misery.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:30AM
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