The Q&A Archives: I read a great recipe online that is inexpensive and works well killing poison ivy, oak and sumac.

Question: We have 2 Acres in our back yard, and 1/2 of it is beautiful and grassy and open, but the back half has sooo many trees, big and small, and is being over run by poison ivy and poison sumac. I read a great recipe online that is inexpensive and works well killing anything. It's a gallon of vinegar. 1 cup of salt and 8 drops of dish detergent. Boil and let cool, then spray. I realize that the salt is what will kill the poison ivy, (or anything for that matter that I spray it on) but my question is, if I spray the ivy and sumac, will it kill the trees that are growing? What should I do? I have an acre that is covered in it and a little girl that wants to play! I need something effective but very inexpensive.

Answer: Margie,

That home recipe is going to burn the tops of the poison ivy and kill the leaves and green stems but won't kill the plants themselves. They will resprout in time. I doubt that any trees will be harmed by a light application of the product to the bark. If you get it on shoots they will be burned back.

Another inexpensive option is to use glyphosate (Roundup is one brand) as a cut stump treatment. You simply cut off the larger vines and then use a brush to "paint" the straight glyphosate onto the cut surface only. This doesn't take much product and works pretty well.

Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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