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Is This Poison Ivy?

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Submitted by:  Louis Chang
Date Submitted: 6/17/2003
Location: Edison, NJ

Question Asked: Picture 1: The tree has English Ivy on it. The picture shows most of the unwanted Poison Ivy(?) with 3 leaves, hanging outer of the tree trunk. How can I remove the un-invited inhabitor ivy?

Picture 2: The same Poison Ivy(?) on the ground surrounding the tree in picture 1. The Poison Ivy(?) grows taller than the English Ivy on the same ground. Location: Edison, NJ 08820

Answer: Hi Louis -

As you have properly guessed, that poison ivy is trying to take over from the english ivy (which is invasive itself). Don't you just hate these uninvited guests?!? Removing this without harming the english ivy will be tough. For the poison ivy on the ground, I'd recommend using a weed whacker. I don't normally recommend powered equipment around poison ivy but if care is taken you should be able to prevent a rash. Dress in long sleeves, pants, boots, gloves, and of course protective eyewear. Trim the tops of the poison ivy until it is level with the english ivy. This should help kill out the unwanted plant there. You may have to do this several times over the season. As for the ivy on the tree, if you can identify the individual vines cut out a section of the vine as close to the ground as possible and remove. This will kill off the vine. You could also paint each poison ivy leaf with something like Brush-B-Gon or other herbicide but that would be very tedious given the amount of leaves there. English ivy is a woody vine just like poison ivy so I would imagine that care must be taken with the herbicide so that you don't accidently get rid of the desired vine.