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Poison Oak/Ivy vs. Virginia Creeper

Subject: Poison Oak/Ivy vs. Virginia Creeper
Author: Alan
Date: 6/9/2003 3:12 pm
Views: 9963
Status: Approved
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After having this horrendous case of poison oak for two weeks I am very nervous about even stepping out in the yard where I used to spend lots of time. I've done a lot of research and made sure I can identify poison oak/ivy. There is no sumac in my part of Tennessee that I am aware of. Even trying to spray Round Up on the oak that got me I swell up like a balloon. I can't even get near it which I guess is not a bad thing. At least my body will warn me and I can take precautions and look around.

We have had a VERY rainy spring with flooding which we haven't had in probably 30 years. This has brought out all kinds of weeds, ivy and plants I've never seen before. I am noticing all kinds of vines on the trees with 5 leaf plants that look like the open palm of a hand. It took me forever to find out on line that it is Virginia Creeper. At least I THINK it is Virginia Creeper. What I read said it is not a poison plant but there are cases of poison ivy type reactions to it. Naturally I am gun shy but trying to kill it would mean losing freshly planted hostas that I spent a fortune on. If it not poisonous and just a ground cover/tree cover decorative vine I will just let it go because it is pretty. You see it all over the trees in the south and I was always told it was poison oak.

I've had quite a round table discussion with friends and family about it and they swear up and down it is poison oak regardless of the pictures I have shown them. Makes me awefully nervous when elders state to stay away from it.

The leaves are smaller and jagged looking but there are others hedges that the leaves are smoother and much much larger. I have been told that poison oak can have 5-7 leaves as well and to remember the rhymes, "Leaves of 3 - let it be. Leaves of 5 will eat you alive." Never heard that before.

How can I positively identify this so I will stop stressing? The poision oak that got me doesn't look like the typical I've seen pictures of. It has giant leaves but the clusters of 3 and the huge woody, furry vine. It's obviously been there for a long time.

You mentioned to ensure you dig up the roots to get rid of it. Um.........let's try another measure shall we? LOL! Can't you just drown it with Round Up frequently? I'm afraid I have hypersensitivty to the stuff and I NEVER want to go through this again. I'm scared to death to even cut the vine for fear of it spraying.

Any advice on these issues would be appreciated.

Tullahoma, TN

Poison Oak/Ivy vs. Virginia Cr (Approved)Alan6/9/2003 3:12 pm
  Re: Poison Oak/Ivy vs. Virgini (Approved)Betsy D.6/10/2003 10:43 pm