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Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

Hi all,
I have a very large area near the front of my yard that is covered with poison ivy. In other words, I can't get rid of the ivy easily or without desperate measures.

My question is this: Will spraying Poison Ivy weed killer work better if I do it right before a hard frost? My thought is that what little nutrients reach the plant after the frost will all be poisoned and therefore will kill the plant better than simply spraying and praying. Or...I could be totally wrong and it will just negate the effect of the poison completely.

Any thoughts or advice? Thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

I recall Roger Cook helping a homeowner with a poison ivy problem. Wearing gloves and protective clothing and gear they ripped the stuff out of the ground. I'm sure that if herbicides would have worked he'd have recommended them, which I don't think he did. If you go this route, be prepared. Use gloves that you'll throw away and have a garbage bag handy for your clothing until it can be washed. When you're done, bathein cool water so that you don't open up the pores in your skin.

I can tell you from experience that Round Up does not work on poison ivy, neither does brush killer. The main problem is that the plants noxious oils basically protect the plant from things being absorbed.

Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

I may end up going your way, but the area is so big, it's really too much for me to handle alone. I would also have to borrow a truck, and completing the project in one weekend would be almost impossible. Still, the idea of not using chemicals is easier on my eco-conscience!

Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

Bold move, Hoff. I have dreadful sensitivity to poison ivy, and there was a lot of in the back of my property, and also in my yard area, climbing up apple trees, etc. I trust in the special Poison Ivy killing herbicide. It does work, and you can get it at any home or farm store.
I make up a stronger-than-recommended mix, put it in my sprayer, and go after it. Of course, there's an amount of collateral damage by the time I'm done, but the ivy's dying. It spreads by the seeds of the berries, and maybe even by roots. Animals don't seem to be affected by it at all, even eating it.

Be sure you don't burn it! Inhale smoke can cause major problems. Even dead poison ivy can still contain the volatile oil and give you a rash. If you can, use not only throw away gloves, but go to a yard sale or flea market and buy clothes to throw away, as well. Remember, you might even have the oil on your shoes by the time you're done, so be careful with that, too.

Let us know how your P.I. Project comes out, ok?

Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

Thanks Marjorie,
I am fortunate in that I do not "get" poison ivy...yet. I know the allergy can appear at any time, as it did to my mother suddenly a few years ago. Using throwaway clothes is probably a great idea. I wonder if I use rubber boots, can I just clean them after with soap and water?

A. Spruce
Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?
HoffDNA wrote:

Using throwaway clothes is probably a great idea. I wonder if I use rubber boots, can I just clean them after with soap and water?

The oils will wash from clothing and other surfaces. I'm not sure if just any soap will do or if you need Fels Naptha. We had P.I. in abundance on our ranch and we rarely got a rash from it because after being in the woods we'd bath and wash clothing.

Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

I've had good luck with glyphosphate(round-up) on poison ivy. The plant needs to be actively growing for it to take the chemical down to the roots. So do it now if you use it.
The oil that causes the rash will still be there after it's dead.
Wear old clothes & gloves and dispose of them when you are done clearing a large infestation.
Tecnu makes a barrier cream and a product for cleaning up afterwards. The cleanser seems to work. The barrier probably does, but I still wear gloves and cover up.

Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

I've had the best results when I spray poisons on very hot days, usually after several hot days. I would think that spraying on a cold day would not be very effective.
For poison ivy I suggest mixing round up stronger than recommended. You can also spray with bleach or vinegar, less effective than round up but a bit more natural.
Zan-Fel or the generic cvs version is great for treatment of poison ivy. A very inexpensive treatment is to shower with dish detergent (ie: dawn) if you've touched poison ivy.

Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

Thanks, everyone! You've answered my question and then some. I can get that spray going as soon as possible, and I know what to use to clean up. This has been my best experience on TOH Discussions yet!

Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

Hoff, just one more bit of advice from someone who is fiercely PI-sensitive: clean up any exposed skin IMMEDIATELY with 90% alcohol, not rubbing alcohol (there are 2 kinds in the store). It dissolves the oil and removes it prior to washing up. I use Lava soap for soaping up, it is better than detergent.

Ron remodeler
Re: Poison Ivy - Round Up at hard frost?

I have used brush begone during the Growing season to kill Poison ivy but add dish soap like Dawn, just a little to make sure it clings to the oily leaves.

Another method is to trim a vine and stick it in a jar of brush begone but I have always had success spraying with a pump sprayer and a little soap.

I think when it is dormant you will have little success.

Large well entrenched vines may take a few seasons to eradicate fully. Don't over do it as you may kill off trees and shrubs in the vicinity from over saturation.

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