Advice Needed on Getting Rid of Poison Ivy - Knowledgebase Question

Dallas, TX
Question by gardeningtx
May 27, 2008
Can you provide suggestions on getting rid of poison ivy on a residential property? Can you recommend any organic approaches?


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Answer from NGA
May 27, 2008

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Poison ivy can be a very difficult situation if it is over a large area. The vines will remain an irritant after they are cut, so caution is in order during all phases of cleanup; the irritant is also released by burning and can then be inhaled with terrible results, so do not burn it for disposal. There are several approaches to controlling it. The first two are organic: One is to cut it off at the roots, then smother the vine by excluding light over a period of months or years. You can cover the root with cardboard topped off with a heavy layer of mulch. Another approach is to try to exhaust the root reserves by cutting it off and/or grubbing at the roots repeatedly over time. Another approach is to tolerate some of it, but remove it from areas where people tend to be most by using the herbicide glyphosate. This is a nonselective herbicide and must be applied according to the label instructions for poison ivy/brush in order to be effective. It may also require more than one application -- this is a very tough plant to eradicate. In the meantime, keep an eye out for seedlings popping up and get rid of them while they are small. Good luck with the job!

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