Disposing of poison ivy--how?

sujiwan_gwMay 2, 2006

I have been trying to figure out the best forum in which to post this question. I think the P.I. topic comes up fairly often here.

We have a farm with several acres of woodlands--of course many of the trees have arm-thick poison ivy vines growing up the sides. In the yard proper, I have a stone ramp to an old bank barn which poison ivy has seen fit to colonize by growing under the rocks and through, hanging down the sides and forming poison ivy shrubs with 8 foot long arms.

Last year we sprayed multiple times. This year I want the stuff out of my planting areas and I've been cutting it and pulling it up out of the ground. Some of the roots running underground are incredibly thick and as hairy as the stuff braiding the trees.

Now I have a yard full of piles of poison ivy waiting to be disposed of. I think it's potent for years even when it looks dead. What do I do with all this stuff? I can't imagine hauling it to the brush places at the dump to become someone's future mulch or compost. YUCK!

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Trash it.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 11:05AM
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It bears repeating even if you've heard it: don't burn it. The smoke can get in someone's lungs and do real damage.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 7:14PM
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The debris piled up and left to decompose thru the winter will render it harmless by spring.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 2:27PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

I bag mine and put it into the garbage for pickup. I also don't want it around for further contact chances.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 8:56PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I collected mine in a plastic bag for the dump. Even though I wore rubber gloves while picking it, I got it on my arm. I think it happened while shoving it into the plastic bag.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 8:29AM
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I have been fighting poison ivy for many many years. The absolute best way to get rid of it is to use a brush killer. Ordinary weed killers just are not strong enough.
Just about every summer for the past 30 years I have broken out in the most horrible poison ivy rash that itches worst than anything imaginable. I've gotten shots, pills and creams from my doctor, which eventually clears it up, but the itching is still pretty bad. Last summer I discovered a product called Zanfel (www.zanfel.com) that claimed to stop the itch in 30 seconds. It's quite expensive, about $30 for a tube that is about the size of a travel sized tube of toothpaste. I asked the pharmacist if it was any good and she told me that she and her family had been using it for the last couple of years and that it was very effective. I bought it, went home and tried it according to the package directions. I couldn't believe it, for the first time in 30 years I actually had total relief from the itching. Absolutely works better than anything I have ever gotten from the doctor, and it cleared up the rash in record time. The website indicates that only one application is necessary for most exposures, but I needed to use it a number of times. This was no big deal, as it continued to relieve the itching, and did clear up the rash in record time. If that little tube was double in price, I'd still buy it, it's that good!
Good luch with your poison ivy. Just keep spraying until it's gone!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 10:29PM
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turbo_tpl(z7a Richland WA)

Be really careful with that stuff - even when dried up and a couple of years old, the urushiol oil is still present and will mess you up.

If possible, I'd kill the plant with brush killer (triclopyr-based herbicides), then leave the plant remains alone, if you can. If it really has to be taken down, I'd get into an EPA suit, cut it up into manageable size pieces, bag it, and send it to the landfill.

Bad stuff, that poison ivy. Really bad stuff....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 9:42AM
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blossom_in_the_sun(7b Garner/NC)

Zanafel has saved my twice this spring already. Worth every penny.
The urushiol oil will continue to rise from a badly exposed area on the skin for up to a month, if not treated. The urushiol oil will continue to be active in dried vines for up to 5 years.

Wicked stuff that Poison Ivy. :(

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 10:08PM
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I can't see cutting the stuff into smaller pieces unless you really are forced to. Contact your local waste hauler. Ask them if they will deliver a dumpster for yard debris. Yes, it will cost money, but less than if you were to fill that dumpster with trash. You will only be able to put yard debris in it. No lumber, no fence pieces, nadda. (At least, this is what happens where I live in the Pacific NW. Not sure what options you have there.)

Also, look up several products: TecNu, Calagel, and IvyBlock. They may be of use.

I removed a dozen or so, 2 inch thick trees of poison oak. So, I understand your pain.... ;-)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 5:15PM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

I wouldn't mess with the debris. If the poison ivy is dead, it may be better to declare victory and go home.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 2:05PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Is that THE leslies that Alfie and Annp were looking for?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 6:12PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

I wouldn't recommend putting in a yard waste dumpster - it would go to a municipal composting operation, wouldn't it? I would bag it and landfill it. Or if you have the space, you could bag it and leave it until it's definitely dead, then make a compost pile out in your woods somewhere.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 3:24PM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

I'm a hunted woman now....:-)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 2:59PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

They miss you - some might consider that hunting or stalking...

I noticed that you had been on at the other place, but you had disappeared for a while.

Its good to know that you are still around...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 5:06PM
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I noticed someone said something about poison ivy discards and municipal composting. On that note, is it possible for poison ivy to survive the composting process?

We use composted material from our city in our planting beds, and I was kneeling in it last week while weeding. When I stood up, my shins were covered with dirt. I took a shower. The next day, my shins -- in the same spot -- were covered with an itchy rash... and 7 days later, it still itches wickedly. I looked at photos and if I have it, it's a very mild case comparatively but my red bumps are also accompanied by some tiny blister-like bumps.

Which leads me to highly suspect that the compost is tainted with poison ivy remains...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 8:10PM
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klickitat(zone 7b GA)

Oooohhhhh... poison ivy is the worst! We have a wooded area in our back yard that is infested with it! Several of the most disgusting, hairy vines required a chainsaw to cut they were that thick. Still, they remain hanging from the trees as I also didn't know what to do with them. Not to mention, the ground is covered in a massive web of the stuff that, although now killed with brush killer, has to be collected and disposed of.

In any case, my best suggestion would be to chop it up into pieces and either bag it for the garbage men or take it to a landfill. I don't have access to a truck right now so I'm bagging the ground cover and will deal with the monster vines later.

Best of luck to you. The stuff is nasty!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 1:56PM
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My opinion had been that the urushiol breaks down fairly quickly (within a year) in the normal rotting process, but the person with the municipal compost clearly got P.I from it. Of course, all plant material breaks down fairly quickly here in Georgia. Thick pieces take a couple of years or so. I put P.I. in some out of the way place in the back yard, but that doesn't seem to work for everyone.

I've found that the underground stems remain viable for at least a couple of years. Very pesky. I've also found very large plants die quickly when cut at the base and brush killer applied to the cut.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 1:13PM
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Hello all, How about bathing poison ivy clippings in a rain barrel full of schrub killer liquid? Am I right to guess that the poison ivy's oil should be wiped out after being continuously bathed in schrub killer for many months. Rain barrel would be closed tight with a lid. My question is: a barrel full of scrub killer could end up being very expensive ( my rain barrel holds up 55 gallons). So how about watering it down? (half shrub killer/half water?)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:00AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Gee, frenchy, and THEN what is he supposed to do with a rain barrel full of toxic chemicals?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:04PM
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I have successfully killed the 4" diameter poison ivy vine growing against and throughout a tall tree by severing the vine near the ground and painting the stub with herbicide. Now I have a tree full of dead poison ivy leaves and branches. I understand that the poison oils remain in dead leaves/branches/trunks/roots. Must I rent a cherry picker and remove every last scrap from throughout the tree? Or if I don't.... when the dead leaves fall to the ground must I gather each one and dispose of them nuclear accident style? Will bits of dried dead branches loosened by storms that fall from the top of the tree (which I imagine could continue for years) need to be gathered and disposed of as above? Help!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:08PM
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