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Getting Rid of Poison Oak

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Poison Oak leaves.
Coming in contact with poison oak can cause painful skin irritation. If you find it in your yard, getting rid of it is a good idea. This is a guide about getting rid of poison oak.
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By 6 found this helpful
October 17, 2011

I heard this solution on the French radio. It was given by the chief gardener of the Versailles palace in France. It works to get rid of vines like bindweed using strong systemic herbicide but without damaging the soil or other plants. I think it should work on poison oak. I will try to explain what you should do, but I also made a picture (very badly drawn!) to make it more clear.
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You need two plastic bottles: a big one, and a smaller one that fits inside the bigger one. Cut off the top third of the two bottles.

In the bottom part and the top part of the bottles, make two holes (about .2 inches wide) one on each side of the bottle at about 1.5 inches from the edge. You can make the holes using the tip of a screwdriver or a knife pre-heated on a flame. With a pair of scissors, cut the plastic from the edge to the center of the holes.

Protect yourself; use gloves, disposable suit, you can even cover your face and wear protection glasses as what you have to do doesn't require precision. Get a stone that can fit in the bottom of the little bottle. It mustn't be too big. It just has to stay stuck at the bottom of the bottle without damaging it, of course.

Hold a part of the poison oak that can bend, if possible, not too far from its roots. Bend it, and get it inside the little bottle right to the bottom. Put the stone on top of it so that it will hold the plant down at the bottom of the bottle. Slide each end of the plant into the cut you made in the bottle down to the holes.

Pour a systemic herbicide (like Roundup for example) into the bottle up to the holes. The plant has to be submerged and the herbicide has to be systemic. Put back the top of the bottle on its bottom part getting the holes one in front of the other. Secure with tape from lid to bottom if needed. Put the little bottle inside the bigger one slide down each part of the plant into the holes put back the top part of the bigger bottle and secure with tape.

The systemic herbicide will work its way up through the plant system, and down to its roots. The herbicide will not enter the soil and only the vine will be killed. The bigger bottle is used to avoid any spilling of the herbicide from the little one, and to avoid animals drinking or being intoxicated by the chemical. You should dig a little hole large enough to secure the bottom of the bigger bottle or set stones around it to keep it steady.

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Once the plant is dead you, just cut the parts that stick out of the bottle and you can reuse the bottle for another plant. The herbicide will still be strong enough.

By Catherine

Comment Was this helpful? 6

October 18, 2011

Roundup all the leaves you can. Poison oak usually requires another application, so leave the vine so you can find it again. The more leaves you spray, the better chance you have of getting all of it.

By looneylulu from Ocean City, MD

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 1 found this helpful
October 25, 2011

I know what NOT to do. Don't try to burn it. I had a friend try this and she got very sick from inhaling the fumes. I suggest wearing disposable gloves so the oil isn't transferred to anything else.

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Good luck!

By Susan E. from Peoria, IL

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2010

I have either poison ivy or poison oak growing all through my forsithia which is all around my yard. My yard is approximately 4 acres. Needless to say, it's too large to wet just the leaves of the poison plants.

Any suggestion in how to get rid of it without killing my forsithias?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Sheila from Columbus, NJ

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 6, 20100 found this helpful

Call your county agent extension office they can help you, good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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June 9, 20100 found this helpful

Birds -- they're so helpful in bringing in seeds!

I believe you can get herbicides that you can apply with a brush (included?). I would carefully cut the P.I. near the base and apply the herbicide to the stub. When the upper part of the plant has dried in the sun, carefully (the oils remain in the dead wood) dispose of it. This is not a quick cure, but keep working on it. Also, if you can hold cardboard between the forsythia and some of the P.I. you can sometimes spray on a windless day.

By the way, forsythias are tough enough that you can cut them nearly to the ground and have them come back. Something to keep in mind as a last resort.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 30, 20140 found this helpful

The best way to get rid of poison oak and poison ivy is to get a goat [I am not kidding] , Borrow a goat from a farm and he will eat the poison ivy or poison oak and goatslove it and do not get sick from it , The golf courses in this area know thissecret andsomeeven have their own littlecoral wit a few goats that they let out during the day to graze on the poison ivy so the golfers are not bothered by it , Thisis not ajoke , Borrow a goat for a day . Some farms will rent you one,

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cathy from ma.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 19, 20150 found this helpful

These answers do not address three hugh problems with poison oak and ivy:

1. Even though the plants may appear to be dead, after using a spray or in the winter, etc., even the dead branches often have enough dried sap in them to cause rashes. If you want to remove living or dried plants, you must be extremely careful to avoid contact and wear good gloves and possibly even old clothes that you can throw away after a day's work.

2. Exposure to the oils in the plant are what causes the rashes. Another surprize is that washing does not always remove the sap completely. If you wash your hiking gear only, you may react when you next wear it. If you wash your gardening and other clothes with your hiking gear, you may find that your heretofore great clothes are now laced with sap and causing rashes.

3. Many people believe they are not sensitive to the plants. However, these same people realize one day that they are suddenly sensitive to poison oak and ivy after hiking, clearing weeds, etc. This is because each time someone comes into contact with the plants, they build up a little bit of sensitivity and may not realize they are slowly becoming sensitive to the plants. Then, one fine day, their neighbor asks them to remove some poison oak and, surprize, they break out with a hugh rash and may need medical treatment.

Ask me how I know all this?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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