The Taunton stuff was useful, thanks ehBeth, especially in that they talk about ginormous vines. Using an ax rather than a saw makes sense, and the "Brush-B-gone" recommendation looks good.
How goes the war, Soz? I thought of you today as I was pulling/cutting out buckthorn and ran into a bed of poison ivy. Did you get away without a breakout?
Hiya J_B, thanks for asking.
I did indeed get away without a breakout. (Thank goodness.) I'm re-thinking more and more whether I ever had a reaction to poison ivy or if it was just that whenever I went camping or to camp, people got rashes from poison ivy. I was certainly exposed, I'm less certain about my own reaction.
Because I can't get my mind around how I could have so much bare-skin contact with the backyard -- which I now know has a ton of the stuff -- with absolutely no reaction. I purposely weeded and such without gloves specifically TO see if I had a reaction/ if there was poison ivy in the yard. (Remember, people had said so but I didn't see any and thought they meant the wild strawberries -- but was keeping an eye out.) Nothing. No reaction.
Meanwhile, sozlet tramped around back there in shorts and sandals and... nothing. No reaction.
Anyway, the whole thing really did upset me quite a bit -- I hate the whole nexus between not wanting to be overprotective but not wanting to knowingly expose sozlet to risk. And I SO wanted her to be able to run around back there. I have reconciled myself to the idea of getting just the grassy area poison-ivy free (and, in some good news, it really is quite grassy as of now) and telling her to stay there until we get the larger problem fixed. I have consoled myself with the idea of so much of what I like about it will still be there -- we can still SEE the various birds and butterflies and creatures and such. Still will be a lot of interesting stuff if she's just standing on the grassy patch and looking.
And we have Tecnu if needed. (Thanks again, CodeBorg.) We were walking home the other day and I saw some poison ivy just before she brushed against it (not in our yard, elsewhere -- quite a bit of it around here), and I Tecnu-ed her up when we got home, no problem since.
I've been scared to go back there since I found the mother of all poison ivy -- just too disheartening, impossible task. What I just decided to do today is go ahead and put on my full poison ivy suit and WEED, in general. The garlic mustard for example is really making headway, and half of what is depressing me is that I don't feel like I can just go out there and grab it. So I'll wrestle the general weed situation into submission, get the grassy patch clean (already did most of that in the first wave of poison ivy killin', though of course more has sprouted since... sigh...) keep a close close eye on that patch and grab any new little sprout, and then just accept that it'll be a while before everything's under control.
At least we have the front yard for worry-free barefoot grass frolicking.
What do you plan to do with the bed you discovered?
I pulled out a bunch of it, but walked away from a bunch too. I was in the middle of dealing with the buckthorn (another invasive you'll want to check up on) and didn't want to get derailed by the poison ivy. I'll send Mr B back out with the Round-Up some windless day. It was much too windy to try to spray anything yesterday.
Regarding Soz and casual contact. We moved here when the girls were 3 and 5. Each year K would get a couple spots from brushing up against a vine and it would quickly respond to hydracortisone. We've walked through and into and out of the woods without any problems. Three years ago M decided to make a fort under the forcythia bushes and spent the day clearing out her area. She was busy, busy, busy all day and only when I asked her if she'd seen any poison ivy vines did she stop to think about what she had been pullling out all day with her bare hands. This is a girl who has lived in and around poison ivy for years, knew what it looked like and still 'forgot' when she was on her mission. Needless to say, the outbreak was severe and she needed oral steroid therapy to turn it around.
We don't get every little bit of it out, but we do try to keep it to the perimeter and to keep entry points into the woods cleared so that we can get back there without having to walk through it.
There must be poison ivy specific weed killer. Michigan woods are typically full of the stuff, yet many of the golf courses I play back there are poison ivy free. I wonder how they got rid of it?
soz : at the bottom you'll find a link to poison ivy allergy. if you go to google under +poison ivy+allergy you'll find many article on this nasty subject. one may not develop an allergic reaction to poison ivy upon first contact but one may gradually become allergic, so it's best to stay away from it ! i still remember when mrs h and my sister-in-law developed a really bad rash - sister-in-law - was hospitalized ! the problem with cortisone treatment is that one can later develop all kinds of other nasty backlash from it. STAY AWAY FROM IT ! ...and good luck ! hbg
...POISON IVY - ALLERGY...
after i followed and commented on this thread...i let my friend helping me clear my yard last weekend get completely covered in poison ivy! how terrible am I? I scoured the yard prior to us starting and couldn't find any. And even worse, neither mr. dragon or myself got any! I was sure there wasn't any and we still have yet to find where he got it because we can't find any! we still have all the stuff we ripped out too and can't find any in there! it is the weirdest thing. I feel so horrible for him! at the least we went out and got him some hydrocortisone cream and caladryl to put on it daily. i was told too that prednisone will help control the spread and itching but since his doc isn't here we can't get it for him. ugh, i am a heel.
He could have petted a dog or been downwind from a bonfire.
How large are his areas of itch? Does he have a history of poison ivy sensitivity?
It also might be something else entirely. Poison sumac, perhaps?
Well, this is just following every horror movie cliche in the book.
What would happen now? Babies were (mostly) eradicated and then the Moapi was vanquished -- now it's time for The Groom of Moapi.
We have this bare vine of some sort (remember, we have all kinds of vines back there, English ivy and I think someone said virginia creeper or something, lots going on) that hangs off of the OTHER side of the same cottonwood. It's very dramatic, diverges about 40 feet up and one part clings to the cottonwood and one part clings to an entirely different tree.
Well, I saw a bit of red -- hmm, what's that? Red leaves... red groups of three leaves -- [expletive deleted].
So this vine is almost all bare but there ARE leaves way up in a whole other tree -- poison ivy leaves, if that's not clear -- and also higher up and on the other side of the same cottonwood.
This will end sometime, right...?
(Meanwhile, I'm getting madder and madder at former homeowners for letting this fester for probably the full 14 years they were here...)
soz : are you living in a south-american jungle ? watch the snakes !
i see you have been making progress
... but unless you are "absolutely" sure there is no poison ivy, don't let the sozlet play there.
better to fence it off for a year and wait what happens. i think i wrote earlier about mrs. h's experience when she contacted poison ivy some forty years ago. not only was the initial skinrash painful and unpleasant (oozing blisters) but for quite a few years she would have re-occurences when we went for a drive/walk in the backcountry - she's finally overcome it. i don't want to scare you or make life unpleasant for you, just want to relate the experience.
(to my shame i have to admit that my brother and i didn't suffer any problems because we wore heavy construction leather gloves). hbg
Here's a good likeness so as to distinguish it from virginia creeper.
Oh, I'm well aware of what poison ivy looks like. :-) Thanks for the virginia creeper pic, though, that is what we have on the other cottonwood (suspected but not sure, that pic helps).
I'll take pics of the behemoths and post sometime soon. (The babies look like the first pic but the massive leaves up in the trees cut in less, look more like a very large three-leafed virginia creeper.)
Amazingly, fantastically, wonderfully, incredibly, Moapi is visibly on her death bed already. The leaves are droopy and browning, with the worst of it near the top but noticably unhappy all the way down to the cut. (Just bare vine beneath the cut.) I thought it would take a lot longer than that.
E.G. might be able to get to the other one this weekend.
I'm feeling more hopeful about this than I have for a long time.
Uneasy lies the head where the MOAPI is lurking in the back yard.
Had you thought of sending some cuttings down to Washington? (I don't mean to the Smithsonian.)
I've mentioned a few places now that we had tree trimmers come and deal with the cottonwoods. I've been sick for a long time and not dealing with the backyard, and went out there to do a poison ivy sweep in advance of the trimmers, and expected the worst.
I looked really, really thoroughly, and the only stuff I saw was new shoots coming out of the old original MOAPI vine, and a few little babies clustered around the base. As in, NOPLACE else in the entire yard. I was amazed.
Then, just thought to check, and the tree trimmers removed the whole entire dead MOAPI. We had chopped it and let it die, which it did above the chop, but we were still worried about getting all the dead but still urishiol-laden vine off and what we'd do with it. Gone gone gone. Ding dong the wicked witch...
Plus the base is freshly chopped and I can pour some Round-up on it and hope to vanquish it once and for all.
I hope that the MOAPI didn't take revenge on the tree trimmers.
Still, knowing that you went up against Nature Green and returned victorious is a very heady accomplishment.