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||Poison Ivy Control
The definitive word...
For years on the GardenLine radio program, I've simply tried to tell people that if they want to control the dreaded vines of POISON IVY and POISON OAK, that they need to use a Brush Killer Herbicide. That usually meant something with the active ingredient known as Triclopyr. But the problem I've run up against, and that many unsuspecting homeowners have run up against is how often the product Roundup (a Glyphosate-based herbicide) is recommended. On the surface, it just never made any sense to me, since Glyphosate is a "weed and grass herbicide" (by the way, originally invented for control of Johnson Grass), not a woody-vine or semi-hardwood herbicide.
Then, I get countless calls and emails from those who've tried Roundup, saying that it didn't work. Or that it burnt the top leaves but didn't kill the vine. And while I'm still perplexed how popular the recommendation of Roundup still is at nurseries and garden centers, keeping in mind the basics of the herbicides I just described, I think I've finally figured out why this is so.
I've researched over 50 websites associated with the eradication of Poison Ivy, and apparently Roundup (Glyphosate) does work pretty effectively when used on BRAND NEW GROWTH, before it can become a woody vine. I can understand that, but it also means you have to physically remove as much of the Poison Ivy as possible and then be on the lookout for new growth, to use Roundup effectively. Meanwhile, what if you are allergic to Poison Ivy? So much so, that just the thought of trying to remove the poisonous vine makes you start itching. Well, here are all the control methods as found in all the websites I just mentioned researching.
Amitrol-T or Weedazol (Amitrole) may be applied, and works in the same manner, as glyphosate (above), but remains active in the soil for several weeks after application. This soil activity prevents the planting of new vegetation in the treated location for several weeks. Do not use in soil where food crops will be grown or in grazing-animal areas. Amitrole may be listed on a label as 3-Amino-1,2,4-triazole.
Brush Beater, Redeem, and Brush-B-Gone (Triclopyr) works in a similar manner to 2,4-D, but has a longer soil activity. Do not plant trees in treated soil for a period of at least six months. It also does not affect grasses.
Weed-B-Gone, Jet Weeder and other products containing 2,4-D are not the most effective solutions for controlling Poison Ivy, but 2,4-D does not kill grass. It may be mixed with 2-4-DP when used on larger "woody" Poison Ivy plants for increased effectiveness. Repeated treatments will probably be required, as it usually will not kill the root system through a single application.
Apply at least 6-12 hours before watering or anticipated rainfall. This active ingredient be listed on a label as Diethanolamine salt of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (for 2,4-D) and Diethanolamine salt of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxypropionic acid (for 2,4-DP). Note: Some plants are VERY sensitive to extremely small amounts of 2,4-D and 2,4-DP. If you must use the sprayer for other uses, rinse it carefully several times with an ammonia solution (including nozzle, hose, reservoir, etc.) to remove all trace amounts of the chemical.
Crossbow (a mixture of 2,4-D and triclopyr). is one of several herbicide "mixtures" that may control Poison Ivy. Read the labels carefully for the effects of such mixtures, as well as for all herbicides applied around the home.
And of course for those of you willing to do the "Removal Process"….
Roundup or Kleenup (both are glyphosate) may be applied to the leaves of brand new Poison Ivy growth. It is absorbed through the leaves and carried throughout the entire plant. Glyphosate has no soil activity. After spraying, do not try to remove the plants for several days in order to allow the chemical to be absorbed throughout the plant. Remember that dead Poison Ivy still contains its poisonous oils. Avoid over-spraying as glyphosate will kill adjacent plants, including grasses. Glyphosate may be listed on a label as "isopropylamine salt of glyphosate".
Not all of the listed products may be available in your area or may not be allowed for home-owner use without special licensing. In fact, there's little chance that anything more than Glyphosate and possibly Triclopyr are available at most nurseries and garden centers. However, good old-fashioned feed stores and specialty chemical shops will have a wider variety of such choices.
FYI - Products for non-residential control of Poison Ivy, such as along fence lines as well as clear and timber areas, include Banvel, Velpar, 2,4-D ester+2,4-Dp ester, Tordon, and Oust.
Lastly, if you're just ITCHIN' to learn more about Poison Ivy or Poison Oak or Poison Sumac, there truly are a lot of great websites on the Urishinol Oil aspect of Poison Ivy and how to handle the irritating aspects of said vines. Here's just a couple of links…
Until next week, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.
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