The Q&A Archives: Poison Ivy!!!

Question: Hi,
Poison Ivy is ruining the enjoyment my grandchildren and I have in my yard. I've tried yanking them out by the roots, but that hasn't helped. The use of chemicals is tricky because I have a stream running through my yard (protected by Environmental Wetlands Act?) and the stream is full of wildlife. Can the poison ivy be eliminated? Or am I stuck with it?
Thank you.

Answer: You might be able to smother at least some of it by cutting it off at ground level or digging out what you can, then covering the root area with heavy cardboard or numerous sheets of newspaper, then topping that off with a heavy layer of organic mulch. If it manages to come up through that, cut it off again, then replace the covering. Eventually the root reserves should become exhausted.

There are some new, soap-based herbicides that are considered quite environmentally friendly and safe to use, so those are worth investigating.

For more information on management practices in your area, contact:
The Saugus Conservation Commission
298 Central Street
Saugus, Massachusetts 01906

Helpful folks there may have more suggestions.

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