The Q&A Archives: Is Crossbow the best way to eradicate poison oak?

Question: I just bought my first house in Southwestern Oregon. My property is wooded, and I have grand plans for a Japanese garden in the back half of the the property. I have LOTS of poison oak, and am wondering the best way to eradicate it. All the locals keep telling me to use Crossbow, but I'm concerned about using a heavy-duty chemical. How long do pesticides stay in the soil, and is there a better way (short of trying to pull it up) to solve my problem? Thanks for any help.

Answer: Other than grubbing it out by hand, two herbicides are effective against poison oak: triclotyr and glyphosate. Triclotyr can be purchased under several trade names, including Crossbow. Use it on a day when the temperature is 70 degrees or cooler. Glyphosate is also sold under multiple trade names, including Roundup. It is most effective in late summer or fall. Both herbicides biodegrade in the presence of sunlight and air and neither travels far in the soil. So, if you're going to use an herbicide, Crossbow or Roundup are effective and not considered harmful to the environment. Best wishes with your new landscape!

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