The Q&A Archives: Poison Ivy

Question: I purchased an existing home with mature trees ...and poison ivy. It has now spread from the trees to the lawn.I have managed to kill what is on the tree trunk growing up. Now it has spread downward onto the lawn. HELP!

Answer: 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) at the strongest label rate. This will knock it back well but some will resprout. When it gets a few leaflets out spray 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 that time. Since it's in your lawn you may want to trace the vines back to their point of emergence, cut them at ground level and then paint the stubs with Round Up rather than spraying them. This will keep damage to your turf at a minimum. Just be persistent and eventually you'll control the poison ivy.

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