how to rid poison ivy growing way up into trees?

gottagarden(z5 western NY)June 10, 2012

I have done lots of google searches and can't find this answer.

I have lots of poison ivy, usually a large area under a tree where the PI is growing. I can spray roundup and kill all the stuff growing on the ground. Spraying the leaves at the bottom of the tree kills the bottom leaves, but does not affect the upper 40 feet of PI. That climbing PI drops seeds for more to grow.

Last fall I cut through all the stems of PI and left them in place. My internet searches led me to believe that the top growth would die and I would just have to focus on the ground and roots. But the PI did NOT die, it as green and lush as ever. And making more seeds. This is AFTER severing the stems. I can't spray any higher than 7 feet.

Has the PI rooted into the tree? How can it keep growing when it is severed from the roots? How can I stop this?

Help! I'm really allergic and need to get rid of this stuff.

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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

After you cut it and sprayed what was on the ground with Roundup, did the part that was rooted in the ground die?

For tough to kill weeds, I've found that undiluted Roundup works. I'd put plastic trash bags around the tree trunk to protect the tree and spray the PI with undiluted RU that has spreader sticker in it. After the RU is dry, take the plastic off the tree trunk. The RU should spread through the plant and kill the roots.

Do this on a day with no wind (and wear latex gloves) because the RU will definitely kill whatever it comes into contact with.

You could also try mixing RU and brush killer together, again protecting the tree trunk.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 2:48PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Yes, roundup kills the stuff at the bottom. That's not my problem. It's the vines in the tree that are still alive. What do I do about them?


    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 5:29PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Are you sure you cut all of the stems leading into the top of the tree? Poison ivy is not parasitic so they should eventually wilt once the stems are cut. Only other thing I could think of is that the heartwood of the tree is badly rotted and the poison ivy has somehow rooted through an exposed area of the bark, although that seems unlikely. Make sure there isn't a vine coming from an adjacent tree that you might have missed.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:00PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Yes, it's supposed to die, but it's green and healthy and vigorous. Was wondering if anyone else experienced this.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 6:36AM
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I just cut down some PI that covered a large dead tree.

There are numerious stems from the ground. I had to cut the stems one by one. Then I spray the roundup at each stem. After two days or more, I checked to see if I missed any. There were two or three places where there appeared still fresh leaves. Then I cut and sparyed again on the remaining ones.

So far I think most are wilted and dead. I'll continue to check to see is any still remains. If indeed there is any feeder from the trunk of the dead tree, when I cut it and spray it, then it should die.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:34PM
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I have the exact same issue. A previous owner of my home cut through the very thick poison ivy vines with a chain saw and cut well into the locust tree as well. He poisoned the vines at ground level and they are dead - no new sprouts or leaves. There is no connection to the ground yet the PI is flourishing beyond the initial 10 feet. There are 7 to 9 PI branches that extent ~50+ feet into the tree each one the size of a large PI patch & dropping nasty seeds into the landscaping below. I can see that the PI vine looks dead for about 5 feet beyond the deep cut and then springs back to a healthy look higher in the tree indicating a parasitic relationship with the locust. There are throngs of dead PI sticks and brambles at tree trunk level which probably still contain urushiol preventing me from tilting a ladder against the tree to saw through the vine at a higher elevation. I'm stuck. My guess is that this was a 30- 40 year build-up of tree/vine. Anyone who has ideas would be much appreciated. My only recourse at this point is to call in a professional. Thought I was crazy until now since there is nothing else on the internet about this.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:42PM
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