Looking up at my poison ivy tree

I haven't rubbed it all over me yet, but can this 8 foot tree be poison ivy? It's growing through my fence.

If so, any suggestions for dealing with it? I have a dog and small kids! Thanks.

  • 2
    doesn't look like it to me, but it is hard to tell from the pic.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 14:44
  • @agent-j, you find this, Poison Ivy: A Plant to Avoid, helpful in identifying if in fact you do have Poison Ivy.
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 20:41

3 Answers 3


yes, that is poison ivy, although it is difficult to see the distinctive compound leaf from your photo, you can tell by the distinctive twigs, especially the pronounced bud-scars (where the leaves attach)

enter image description here

and berries:

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The picture in tho OP may have been confusing to some because there is also another plant with a compound leaf on the right, perhaps (winged, smooth, or staghorn but not poison) sumac:

enter image description here


If it is in fact poison ivy (I'm not sure, from that picture), Roundup or a similar herbicide is usually very effective for killing it. Be careful if you spray something on it, though - Roundup is very toxic to desirable plants as well. Spray on a relatively windless day, and I'd suggest wearing long sleeves, pants, and gloves to minimize skin contact.

Be sure that the remains of the plants are not burned! That can disperse the oils from the plants in the air, and can result in nearby people getting a rash in their nose, throat, and even lungs.


It certainly looks like the vine form of Poison Ivy. The following information, taken from the About.com site, should help you confirm its identity and deal with it:

These two plants always appears nondescript, making victims wonder what exactly gave them the itchy rash a day or two later. With either species, there is one reliable truism: "Leaflets Three, Let It Be."

Poison Oak and Ivy ALWAYS grow their leaves in groups of three. It doesn’t matter if the leaves look like ivy leaves, oak leaves or have a simple oval shape.

Look for the pattern of three leaflets branching from a single, independent stem.

You’ll find two leaves attached directly to the stalk, opposite each other.

The third leaf will jut from between them on a short stem, forming a distinct T pattern. In dry weather the leaves may droop, making the pattern hard to identify.

Here is a link to a leaf diagram that will help you identify it.

And another on how to remove it: Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac, and Poison Oak Identification.


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