The Q&A Archives: poison ivy

Question: We have poison ivy growing all over our property, now beginning to crawl its vines into the common areas that we mow & use. What is the safest way or ways to eliminate it? Winter, covered completely, gloves. dig it out? 90% is in the vegetation surrounding the land, along our canal & lake, so now another problem of posionous snakes & alligators are an issue. Do not want to destroy the other trees, etc; or any other wildlife. Thanks for your help.

Answer: Heather,

That is quite a challenge you have sense it is so extensive. To kill the vines growing up the trees, cut the "trunk" of the vines in a couple of places near where the vines emerge from the soil to remove a section of vine. This will kill everything upward from that point. The vine will resprout and you will later need to spray the resprouts and the smaller vines throughout the area with a product containing glyphosate (such as Roundup) or triclopyr (such as Brush B Gone) at the strongest label rate. This will knock it back well but some will resprout. When it gets a few leaflets out spay it again. This herbicide is translocated into the roots and kills smaller vines while severely damaging stronger ones. Repeat applications will eventually get them all. Later summer to early fall is a good time to make a final application as the vines are storing sugars for the dormant season ahead. Herbicide applications seem to be more effective at this time.

Take care not to get these products on desirable plant foliage. Also don't over apply them or apply them right for our rain. All that is necessary is to barely wet the foliage not drench the plants and soil.

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