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Is This Poison Ivy?

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Submitted by:  patrick williams
Date Submitted: 5/22/2003
Location: Boston

Question Asked: someone said I have poison ivy growing in my yard but I cannot tell, can you. I am in Boston.

Answer: Patrick - this was a tough call. I enlarged the pictures to analyze. I've circled in the original photos the key areas for the plant identification. This does not mean that there may not be some poison ivy lurking in there but based on what I see this appears to be Boxelder. The keys to identification here are:

  • Leafs in pairs on the trunk (called opposite)
  • Trunk is green in color
Boxelder will sprout heavy growth at the base resembling a bunch of poison ivy. I've been fooled by a couple of these on my property. FYI - poison ivy leaves are always alternate on the vine. To learn more about Boxelder, follow this link.