Poison Ivy and Oak Removal

Poison Ivy and Oak.

Poison Oak and Poison Ivy is known to cause severe allergic reactions to humans if touched. It causes large blister like rashes that swell up and itch dramatically. In some cases it is worse than others. Poison Oak is normally found in the wild, but it sometimes managers to invade domestic gardens. However, that is just what poison oak is. It is an invasive woody plant that competes with other surrounding plants in the area. If allowed to remain, poison oak can take on a vine look and spread among walls and near by trees. Poison oak is extremely difficult to remove, re-surfacing after repeated removals is just one of the tricks poison oak is capable of. Removal of poison oak and ivy requires a systematic approach.

Things you are going to need?

  • Protective Clothing.
  • Gardening Scissors.
  • Plastic Sheets or Newspaper Sheets.
  • Spade Shovel.
  • Herbicidal Sprays.
  • Plastic Bags.
  • Paint Brush.
  • Sprayer.


If you have a medical history of severe allergic reactions you should not handle poison ivy or poison oak. Try to prepare yourself for accidental contact with the plant. Plastic gloves, high socks, long sleeve shirts, pants, and protective eye glasses are a must. Try to keep rubbing alcohol, bottle or wipes, on hands incase you come in contact. Clean the area that was contacted with the rubbing alcohol immediately.

Manually Eradicating Poison Oak.

You should try to pull-out the poison oak by the roots. This ensures that the plant does not re-infest the same spot. Before pulling out the plant, dig around the base of the plant. Using a spade, create a 6-inch deep trench that encircles the plant. This ensures that the roots are loosened. However, if the plant has developed strong roots, this task could become demanding.

Instead, you can smother the plant. With the help of gardening scissors, cut the plant's main stem, close to the ground. Only a small stalk should be left above the soil's surface. Place a plastic sheet or newspaper sheets on top of the sliced stalk. This slowly chokes the plant to death by depriving it of sunlight and ventilation. However, this method does not ensure that the plant will not root again.

Applying Herbicides.

For comprehensively killing the poison oak, you need to apply herbicides to the sliced stump. The sliced surface ensures that the herbicide is able to seep into the plant and reach the roots. Herbicidal application can be done before covering the stalk. This increases the overall effectivity of the herbicide. Most herbicidal solutions contain compounds like Glyphosate and Triclopyr. Glyphosate herbicidal solutions are particularly effective against study, mature poison oaks. Triclopyr herbicidal preparations provide long-term eradication of poison oaks when applied to young poison oaks.

Try to apply the chosen herbicide soon after the poison oak begins flowering. Herbicidal spraying during the growth phase (flowering or fruiting stage) is more effective and is commonly called foliar spraying. Foliar application should be done during the spring season. For a few, ground-level poison oaks, the herbicide can be applied with a paintbrush. However, if the poison oak has grown into a dense, climbing vine, use a hand held sprayer. Herbicidal solutions used for spraying should be diluted according to packaged instructions.

Disposing of Poison Oak.

Leftover foliage of a destroyed oak shrub should not be used for preparing compost or any other gardening activity. Please note that the dead vine, particularly its dug-up roots, are poisonous. Collect all the disposed parts of the dead oak. Pack these into a plastic bag and dump the bag. This is the safest method of disposing dead oaks, since fumes emerging from burning oaks can be toxic.