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Poisoning Poison Ivy

Posted by mrs.wiggley 8-HillCountry (My Page) on
Thu, May 1, 14 at 23:17

Hello all. I live in a semi-rural area of the hill country and have some beautiful old live oaks in my yard that are such a godsend, especially in the heat of the summer. Unfortunately I also have a patch of poison ivy underneath them - about 10 x 20 feet. I'm wondering if anyone knows a good safe way to eliminate the poison ivy without endangering the trees? I'm terrified of using chemicals because if anything happened to those grand old trees I don't know what I'd do....besides cry and go into mourning for months. I read the label on one product sold at Home Depot for killing poison ivy and there were all kinds of warnings about getting it on surrounding plants, or it getting into ground water, etc. How difficult and effective would it be to dig it up? Or maybe I could find someone nearby who would lend me a goat to eat it...but I don't know if that would actually kill the roots. Is there something I haven't thought of? Perhaps a more benign product or method? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

Sounds like a good way to kill a goat.

Poison ivy is notoriously difficult to eradicate. Roundup won't kill the roots. Ortho makes a herbicide tailored to poison ivy. You shouldn't have any problem with spraying the ivy while avoiding any contact with the trees. It's not going to migrate on its own from the ivy to the trees. I would expect repeated applications will be required.


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

I've used the Ortho BRUSH-B-GONE poison ivy herbicide spray pretty regularly, to stop new plants from spreading. You just give a quick spray to the leaves. The leaves absorb it, and it kills the plant. It works well. The active ingredient is Triclopyr, which has a lifetime in the environment of a month or so. Nontoxic to bees and fish. It is soluble in water, so you'll want to reapply if it rains.

I wouldn't spray large areas with it, but just target individual plants. In a 10x20 foot area, you should be pretty much rid of it in a year. If you see a new sprout, just give it a spray.


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

Thanks for this advice. I had really hoped someone might know of a chem-free solution to this problem Sounds like it is a gradual process even with chemical sprays....a YEAR! Wow.


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

Well, I should say that it will take a month or two or three for the plants to die completely. You'll see browning leaves in a few days, but it takes a lot longer for the whole plant Including roots) to die. I really meant that it will take most of the summer season. Of course, you could just mow it down and plow it up, but the roots will still be there. Same with goats.


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

This from Howard Garrett. the organic guru.

"The organiphobes recommend spraying 2,4-D and other toxic herbicides, but that's a very bad idea. Toxic products contaminate the soil, the water, the air, wildlife, pets, you and me. Plus, they don't work very well. Besides being very dangerous toxic chemicals for the soil, water, air and you, it will kill your trees. The Scotts company says to spray Roundup. Roundup is dangerous and doesn't work well on poison ivy.

Poison ivy must be physically removed. Goats will eat it into oblivion for you or you can hire someone to dig it out. As it starts to grow back, the young returning growth can be sprayed with the vinegar-based herbicide. Add one ounce of d-limonene and one teaspoon liquid soap to one gallon of 10% vinegar made from grain alcohol.

The skin rash from poison ivy can be treated with the juice of comfrey. When applied early on, it is quite effective. Poison oak has a more oak-like leaf but has the same properties as poison ivy."

I have used 2-4 D successfully. Would NEVER try digging out the roots.....I don't like to itch!


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

Well, sure, 2,4-D is asking for trouble. I've used the Triclopyr, and it works, albeit slowly. Where I spray it, the poison oak goes away and never comes back. It's gone. I never dig. The MSDS suggests that it really isn't anything to worry about.

It would be interesting to hear more about vinegar-based herbicides. I suspect it might kill the greenery well, but the roots? I've seen a recipe for such a herbicide that uses 20% vinegar and lots of salt. That's strong acid! It'll kill anything. Household vinegar is 5% acetic acid. Putting salt on your soil is not too smart either.


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

P.S. BTW, vinegar is a mild insecticide, and concentrated acetic acid really isn't nice stuff to get on you. Vinegar is a well known "natural" way to kill bees. Nice, eh? Trouble with "organic gurus" is that they think that anything that grows or is produced naturally by things that grow is somehow better than those evil "chemicals" that don't. They are convinced that things that are "natural" relieve you of the obligation to think about what you're doing.


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

Do the organiphiles suppose that Obama and his regulatory appointees are in thrall to the Gnomes of Monsanto?


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

Just as long as everyone is thinking about what they're doing. I'm not talking about political thinking. In fact, the trouble comes from those who think politically instead of thinking physically, chemically, and biologically. Those who don't do the latter should be doused in vinegar.


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RE: Poisoning Poison Ivy

Thank you for this info. I'll have to do a little research on
2,4-D , a new one for me.


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