Poison ivy removal

The presence of poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) on your property is no laughing matter. A few lucky people suffer no ill effects, but most people react to accidental skin contact with this perennial vine by developing an itchy, painful rash. For those with pronounced allergies, the effects can even be life-threatening if they come anywhere near it. This is a weed that is too risky to leave around, and even the most devoted organic gardeners often resort to chemical weed killers as the best way to remove this menace. The saying goes: “Leaflets three, let them be,” but if this itchy vine invades your garden, it is not so easy to ignore it; you are better off just removing poison ivy altogether.

When to Remove Poison Ivy

A dry day with no wind is the safest time for removing poison ivy, especially if you will be using an herbicide spray (you do not want the herbicide blowing back at you, nor do you want it blowing on landscape plants).

The easiest time to remove it is springtime when the leaves are red and easy to spot. You will need to inspect your property frequently, as this tenacious plant is hard to eradicate completely and it often returns.

Project Metrics

The time required to eradicate poison ivy depends on the level of infestation, but it is a difficult plant to combat. You’ll spend plenty of time, though not much money, to get rid of poison ivy. Avoid rushing this process; this is a toxic plant that should be handled slowly and carefully.

  • Working Time: Varies, depending on the amount of infestation. A moderate infestation requires a full day of careful work.
  • Total Time: Permanent eradication can take repeated work over a full year
  • Material Cost:  for a one-gallon container of ready-to-use brush-killer

What You’ll Need

Equipment and Tools

  • Rubber gloves
  • Washable, tightly woven long-sleeve shirt and pants
  • Long socks
  • Shoes or boots that can be washed or hosed off
  • Goggles and breathing mask
  • Sharp pruning shears or a hand pruner
  • Sharp-edged shovel
  • Heavy black plastic garbage bags and tie