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Controlling Poison Ivy

en Español

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Date: April 30, 2020
Agent: Donna Teasley

Hello, this is Donna Teasley, Horticulture Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center.

Poison Ivy is one of the worst things about summer. Most of us have some level of sensitivity and when it gets established in our landscapes, it isn’t easy to deal with. Poison Ivy has an oily toxin in its tissues called urushiol. This oil is present in all parts of the plant and can linger on tools, clothing, animal and even shoes for long periods of time. So doing and eradicating poison ivy isn’t a once and done task but you can be successful if you go about it in the right way. Proper timing is a must.
Poison Ivy is at its weakest point during flowering. It’s using most of its energy on the flowers and is most susceptible to herbicides at this time. Flowering happens in early to mid- summer in our area but the small white clusters of flowers aren’t very noticeable so you will have to watch for them. Use sprays containing triclopyr or glyphosate. Products that are labeled as brush killers usually fit the bill. Apply during flowering. If growing in trees, cut off and apply concentrated herbicide to the cut with a paintbrush.

This is Donna Teasley with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. If you would like more information about this program, you can give our office a call at 764-9480.