First spring in our new home and I noticed some suspicious looking beasties out there. Last year I had a terrible case of poison ivy so now I'm disturbingly aware of things that appear like poison ivy.

There's two areas that have something that looks suspicious to me. One, I think/hope, are raspberry or blackberry etc bushes. They are near the edge of a copse of trees and there are bent runners nearby with similar leave patterns on 2nd year looking woody branches with small prickers.

The second area though is very concerning and I'm staying right away from it for now. It's a viny looking plant attached to my maple tree and has a lot of the characteristics of poison ivy. I'm hoping it's not but I've already told my four year old to stay away.

If they are - what is the best way to have this removed - having recently had such a fierce reaction I'm nervous about getting it all over again in the process of eradicating this unwelcomed invader.

Near some thorny runners that I assume are wild berries Same area as first picture Climbing up a maple tree these ones scream poison ivy to me Same cluster as Same cluster as 3 and 4


2 Answers 2


Oh yes. Top two pics are raspberries. Bottom one I'm not sure. But #3 and #4, the thing trying to climb a tree, sets off all my warning signs. Notice they are glossy and a little red. And you can see why it's called ivy, right?

This is the only thing we use Roundup on. In fact in Ontario that's the only reason you can buy it. DO NOT BURN POISON IVY! Even pulling it up and trying to dispose of it can be bad since now you have the oil on your gloves. Go with the Roundup just for this. And since you've had a reaction to it, get someone else (not the four year old) to spray it for you. Choose a hot day and spray right onto the leaves. I react badly and we kill it when we see it. They come back from time to time and we keep Roundup around for this purpose.

(As a test, I showed your pictures to my husband, who kills our poison ivy for me, with the headline covered and said "what is this?" He read the pictures down as raspberry, raspberry, poison ivy, poison ivy, not sure. Then I showed him the headline and he laughed.)

  • He should come kill my poison ivy ;)
    – Brian
    May 24, 2014 at 21:40
  • @Brian I don't think you'd like his bill rate :-) May 24, 2014 at 22:48
  • Heh, Do Not Burn rule has been broken many times here in Southern Oregon. Our Poison of choice (Oak) produces prime shrubbery. Property clearing parties with ensuing bonfire means you've gotten it in your eyes, throat and lungs. Not pleasant at all and if you're intensely allergic, a prolonged hospital visit is in your future. People I've known report that it's an "I wish I'd died" type experience. The wiener stick experience is not urban legend, one of my friends who should have known better was a participant who had a Homer experience off that one (hiker, long term resident). May 25, 2014 at 16:05
  • AFter I kill it with the chemicals, I assume it's still dangerous and I still have to grub it? Or is it easier to remove since I've killed the root I can just carefully hack it off, bag it and dispose of it?
    – Brian
    May 26, 2014 at 12:53
  • We have an acre an a half, so after the chemicals we just steer clear of the area for at least a few weeks. At no point does anyone touch the plants, alive or dead. The plants themselves sort of disappear after the treatment, presumably decomposing. The oils will disperse eventually. May 26, 2014 at 13:27

The bottom picture is also poison ivy. Use Roundup on the low plants, but if you have any tree-high stuff, put on long sleeves/pants, and wear gloves and goggles, and carefully cut it off at ground level. Do not touch the plant with your gloves. When it flushes out, use Roundup. I recently had to do this at a clients house, and the main stem was 7 1/2 " in diameter. I don't get poison ivy, but I have to use the same precautions, so I don't wipe oil on things. My biggest mistake was fight ing poison ivy all day, and not washing my hands before going inside. The result-everyone got poison on their hands, from the door knob.

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