puzzlejunky
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safely get rid of poison ivy

A few seasons ago I took some baby raspberry plants that were spreading too far into the vegetable beds and replanted them under our crab Apple tree. I didn't expect them to take...but they did.

Trouble is we have a problem with poison ivy in that area. It hasn't sprung up yet this season..but I'm sure it will. The plants are probably ready to fruit this year...and I figure they won't be safe to eat. We have plenty of berries in another area so we don't have to eat them.

But our yard has become sort of a community garden with lots of neighbors picking things withoutu us around. We don't mind this usually..it's a very friendly neighborhood. But I'd hate for one of them to not see the poison ivy and have their throat swell from ingesting berries grown so close to it! Is there any way to safely eradicate the poison ivy so I don't hurt anyone? I'd like to keep the berry plants if possible.

Thanks..

puzzlejunky
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

I should add that every year we rip it out by hand by the roots (we think)...but it keeps coming back. Any ideas?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

you rip it out BY HAND ??? :shock: Have you seen my poison ivy post? https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 33&t=61663 I thought it was going to kill me...

You are right, if the poison ivy leaf would happen to touch a berry, the berry could be contaminated and eating p.i. is the worst way to contract it (well, maybe the second worst - I knew someone who got some in a bonfire and the oil got in the smoke and he was covered with it).

I almost never recommend poisons, but poison ivy for me is one case. Dress in a haz mat suit - eye protection, long sleeves, gloves, tape the sleeves to the gloves and similarly tape long pants to socks. Then cut the stems of the p.i. down to just a few inches above the ground. Then immediately paint the cut stem with roundup, using a brush in full strength undiluted round up. You have to wait until the p.i. is leafed out and growing. At that point the cut stem will suck the roundup in and it will go down and kill the root. Using the brush helps minimize the damage to surrounding plants and the environment.

Then disinfect your cutting tool and throw away the brush. Peel your gloves off inside out, so your skin doesn't touch the contaminated outside.

But watch out for the raspberries too. I thought it would be cool to grow them and now I am frantically trying to get rid of them. They spread very rapidly by runners and turn in to bramble thickets. And the birds get most of the berries and drop the seeds, so then they pop up in other parts of the yard too.

Best Wishes !!
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puzzlejunky
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

Ugh! Roundup? Really? Someone tell me there's a better way :-()

As for ripping it out.. we wear long sleeves and gloves.. it's also possible I'm not that sensitive to it. I've never had a bad case of it in my life.

One of my neighbors (unfortunately one of our berry lovers) seems to catch it every year. And she doesn't even seem to go outdoors much.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

No really. If you have read any of my posts, you know I am the most anti- poison person around. But there really isn't any other way. You will never be able to get all the roots of it out. Brushing the Roundup on, you limit the damage so you are doing very little harm to anything else. And this is an actual safety issue. You may not be very sensitive to it; some people aren't. But you said other people walk in there. Some child getting in to it and eating berries contaminated with it could become very ill. If you aren't willing to poison it, then I think you should fence the area off and post a warning.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

puzzlejunky
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

I'll do it. It hasn't sprung up yet this year.. but first sign of it and I'll follow your advice. We don't have any kids in this neighborhood..but for my ultra sensitive neighbor who loves the berries i'll do it.

I think maybe I should dig up the mature berry plants too. They could become infected with it ( since I have to wait til it grows again) plus I don't like eating food where roundup was used. We have berries popping up in other areas anyway.

Thanks rainbow.

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!potatoes!
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

it should be said that if poison ivy isn't directly touching the berries, they're safe to eat. the presence of poison ivy in the area/in the soil won't render berries dangerous - just the picking of them. there's no such thing as another plant becoming 'infected' with poison ivy.

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applestar
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

I don't use chemicals and stuff either, but if I needed to get rid of poison ivy -- particularly established large vines, I would follow rainbowgardener's instructions, too. I think dabbing is a very sensible way of totally limiting the application to the poison ivy itself.

When you go to remove the smaller vines, try to follow the main vines back to the main root system -- p.i. Has a sneaky way of popping up leaf stem and leaf above the mulch/leaf litter and they break off easily, but the vine and toots hold tight to the ground. I find it best to wait until after a good soaking rain has loosened the ground.

I can't touch directly -- length of my arms is still too close -- but I use a long handled weeding tool -- I think "weed hound" but I can't remember right now -- and then start twirling the vine around the tool like spaghetti.

Try to recognize the new poison ivy seedlings because they are relatively safe to touch.

Most likely reason you get so much "endless" poison ivy there is because the birds like to eat the poison ivy berries -- robins, mockingbirds, catbirds are typical in my area -- then they come to your crabapple and raspberry to eat some of those, and drop poison ivy seed laden poop under the tree.
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puzzlejunky
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

"Most likely reason you get so much "endless" poison ivy there is because the birds like to eat the poison ivy berries -- robins, mockingbirds, catbirds are typical in my area -- then they come to your crabapple and raspberry to eat some of those, and drop poison ivy seed laden poop under the tree.[/quote]



Ugh! You mean even if I follow Rainbow's advice it could STILL come back? I'm starting to to think in addition to the roundup..a fence with a warning sign isn't such a bad idea. Especially since our yard gets so much traffic.

Feeling discouraged :cry:

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applestar
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

It can seem that way, but sometimes, birds "plant" more interesting things, too. I have a volunteer/bird planted red currant bush, for example. I have no idea where there might be another red currant bush growing anywhere nearby -- certainly not from my own garden. :()

My huge patch of wild strawberries (edible and amazingly fragrant flavor, gets mushy in mere hours after picking so no way they would sell these in stores) was originally planted by the birds. :flower:

On the whole, since you want to share your raspberries with your HUMAN visitors, if you are willing, it is probably a better plan to move those from under the crabapple to a separate area and keep the area surrounded the crabapple mulched and clear to the drip line.

Then it will be easier to spot and pull any poison ivy seedlings. This is an annual spring chore for me -- they really are pretty recognizable at seedleaf stage and I can even pull those out of the ground without protection.
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PaulF
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

Poison Ivy is difficult to discourage, but it does give up if you continually cut it off at ground level. I don't like chemical solutions to a problem however the choice between poison ivy and chemicals is an easy one to make. I have used both methods and they are about equal in results.
Paul F

puzzlejunky
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Re: safely get rid of poison ivy

Applestar recommended I tack this on here...

Has any tried spraying it with more natural things like vinegar/salt solutions ? Bleach isn't natural..but seems safer than round-up.

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