Deadlier than Agent Orange--<blare of trumpets>--Sozobe!
Nature green in briar, thorn and urushiol is about to be rebalanced!
oh god that was scary
gotta pick up kid more later
i'm fine ... so far. just thoroughly freaked.
(8-foot vines going up my cottonwood!!!)
OK so here's the story so far:
I set up my little staging area in the basement (walk-out): two plastic bags (one for ivy, one for clothes), Tecnu with the top off, and an old dishtowel for wiping off the Tecnu. Changed into jeans I was ready to get rid of, long-sleeved shirt I was ready to get rid of, socks which were actually fine but oh well, and shoes I'm keeping for the next go-round (and it looks like there will be one -- sigh) but then will get rid of. Sleeves into gloves, jeans into socks.
Then went out the basement door, grabbed the Roundup, and got to work.
Basic technique was twofold. There are a whole lot of teeny-tiny ivy plants, especially in the grassy area that I carefully groomed to be hospitable to grass (hospitable to dastardly ivy, too.) The ones that were under 2 inches or just came up easily, I just pulled, period. The ones that were bigger, I cut and Roundupped.
So did the whole grassy area and whole south side, not bad. Not nearly as bad as I'd feared. Was feeling a tiny bit cocky (you just KNOW that's a bad thing...)
Started on the north side. Was getting a lot of that garlic mustard out on the way, things were looking good. Then the horror started. Pulled at one little plant to see how rooted it was, it was attached to a vine. Pulled at the vine, it came up beautifully, with a whole bunch of little plants attached to it. That part was quite fun. Kept pulling at it, it led me to one of the cottonwoods. And THERE -- ay-yi-yi.
Great big huge ivy plants all around the base -- like 3 feet high and leaves up to 6 inches long. The vine itself went up and up. Adrenaline surged, must-kill instinct won out though, and I started pulling the thing off. Got it off, then snipped at the base and poured on the Roundup.
There was a whole lot more of that in that area. Looked at my watch (complicated shrugging thing so I didn't touch anything), and it was 2:30, looked again, thinking maybe 10-15 minutes had passed, and it was 3:15. Had to pick up kid at 3:30. Quit, went to staging area, stripped, put clothes in bag, energetically rubbed Tecnu on hands/wrists/forearms (areas I thought were most likely to have gotten exposure), wiped with old dishrag, wrapped self in towel, did more washing upstairs with water, put on new clean clothes, went and picked up sozlet.
Hate to go back out there, but gotta. Made serious headway, anyway.
The Ivy may ramble, but the Ivy can't hide. Nemesis advances.
Right on, Soz! You can do it!
PS - Technu has an "armor" formulation you can put on gloves, wrists, neck, etc, before exposure too. Instead of nuetralizing the urushiol after
it has locked onto the skin, it shields you directly as a leaf brushes against you. Because the oil is nuetralized on contact, it doesn't matter if it gets smeared around onto other things later. It's already been disarmed. I've never gotten a rash when I use Tecnu "armor" just like sunscreen before exposure. You are well prepared!
Scary yard, but you are doing it right.
PPS - I just had a dream about 8-foot poison ivy climbing up the side of my house. The taller they are, the longer they run, the harder they fall!
Sozobe is The Domestifier!
(I've been having nightmares about this too, seriously.)
I did not get that Tecnu (how they spell it btw) neutralizes the urushiol, too. Very cool. I thought it was just a method of removal.
So far so good! I read somewhere that itching is a prime psychosomatic symptom -- when there are mysterious "outbreaks" in schools and such that turn out to be psychosomatic, it's often itching/ rash. (My finger begins to itch as I write...) So I've had lots of little itches but when I look, nothing. And they fade fast.
Rainy today, plus plans, hope to get the rest of that stuff soon.
1.) How do I know if it's dead enough or needs another application, especially on stems/ cut vines?
2.) The stems ooze urushiol themselves, what would the next step be with the stems since the goal is to allow sozlet to ramble around back there?
soz : i would not take a chance with the sozlet "rambling" around there. you may have to put up a sort of snowfence several feet away from the infested area. once you think you have eradicated the poison ivy you could cover a "safety zone" with a double layer of landscaping cloth - make sure you get the top-rated kind, not the cheap stuff - and cover it with woodchips or bark.
mrs h came in contact with poison ivy some forty years ago***- we were trying to "clean up " a cottage lot in the backwoods, didn't even know what poison ivy was. for the next ten years or so she'd get a skinrash every spring when we took a drive out in the backcountry from the poison ivy pollen in the air.
poison ivy isn't something to fool around with. take care ! hbg
*** it took several months of doctor's visits and treatments to get the rash under control
I'd put the badly infested areas off limits for a full year.
Unfortunately, she's old enough to explain to, but young enough to be heedlessly impulsive.
Of course she'll be this age for the next 20 years.
There was a reason for those nightmares.
It's kind of like a horror movie where the plucky heroes successfully fight off an enormous ravenous beast, and just as they are celebrating their triumph, the beast's many-times-more-enormous mother comes stomping up...
Remember that 8-foot vine going up the cottonwood? A mere babe. An offshoot of the scariest **** poison ivy vine nay tree I have ever **** seen. I didn't see it before because it doesn't even start with leaves until about 20 feet up. It's just a vine about 5 inches diameter until then, half engulfed by the cottonwood, and among a lot of other English ivy vines. THEN, the vine branches off into other vines which branch off into others -- it really looks like a tree up there. With enormous lush leaves.
I seriously had to fight back tears when I saw that thing. And I thought I was close...
We probably can saw the vine at the base and let it die. But the whole enterprise just got several notches more complicated and daunting.
I would seek out expert advice before doing anything. Thinking of all those leaves falling off. Hmm, a net to catch it?
Consider emailing your county arboretum to ask them either for advice or for a referral....
I agree about expert advice.
County arboretum is a good idea.
I have a mental block right now re a government agricultural agency name - we have one in California at the state level and they are pretty sharp at some questions also.
But... the LA county arboretum was really really helpful at one point on a situation I had with a client, a swimming pool, and a Brugmansia....; see if you can get to one of the horticultural experts.
soz : not to scare you even more, but ...
i remember that my sister-in-law who was part of the crew "to tame the canadian wilderness" wound up in the hospital with pretty severe burns on her arms.
perhaps your best bet is to fence off the area until you've had an expert to take a look at it and give you advice.
to this day, whenever we see anything that looks even remotely like poison-ivy mrs h beats a hasty retreat. hbg
The Taunton gardeners (where there are occasional sightings of mrs. SealPoet) have talked about poison ivy a couple of times, including ...
(there are 254 messages on the subject there)
One thing, I bet this monster is Mother P. Ivy. Once you dispatch her, all else should be thwartable.
Ahh, I remembered. It's the University of California Agricultural Extension I was trying to remember the name of. I called them once about a fire ravaged acreage and what I and client should do about it, in upper Malibu. (It turned out, once I described the scene, to be - nothing!) They were very helpful, if a tad acerbic. Of course Malibu and Ohio are different.
But Ohio may have some resource like them.
Here's a link on poison oak from them -
There was mention in that page re a licensed herbicide applicator. That may be the way to go, and worth the expense, if if if if if, they know what they are doing. Worth, perhaps, interviewing a few folks from the yellow pages. But first I'd talk with the arboretum.
When I say talk and interview, I understand, Soz, what you go through all the time. On the other hand, if you approach folks by email, etc., you may be clearer by a bunch than most of their usual clients....
here is another article on poison ivy. it's quite detailed, strangely it's listed under PEDIATRICS , hope it's useful......POISON IVY...