When purchasing a new home, it can be easy to overlook the backyard of your property. Many people ask for a certain type of terrain, whether it be sloped for elaborate landscaping or flat for children to play on. A closer inspection of your new backyard, however, might just reveal that you’ve purchased more of a problem than you bargained for. In fact, it can sneak up on you, particularly if you make your home purchase during the winter months, when Poison Ivy is most dormant. In its several forms, poison Ivy is an invasive plant native to wooded areas. In many places, particularly in the south, where homes are being built in previously rural areas, poison ivy can be so pervasive due to it’s long growing season, that it’s roots will climb into the tops of trees in your backyard, leaving a long, thick tendril of poison ivy climbing up the bark of the tree your youngster just might be thinking about climbing right now.
Getting rid of poison ivy is no easy task, particularly when the poison Ivy is that pervasive. Additionally, it is not without risks. You may choose to burn out your undergrowth, but then, you must obtain a burn permit from your local forestry service or fire department, and be extremely careful with even the smoke, as the oils which irritate the skin can be carried in the smoke of that fire, and breathing it in can cause serious medical problems, particularly if the person breathing in the fumes has an allergic reaction to poison ivy. Chemical treatments are available from several manufacturers, however, the instructions must be followed precisely or you will risk the chance of the product not working at all. Most of these chemical herbicides will work quickly on ground cover poison ivy; however, they take much longer to work on the thick, heavy poison ivy vines that can be found in the old cow pastures where the pasture met a wooded area. Treatment in these cases can take well over a month to even see a reaction in the plant, and it will not immediately let go of your tree and fall to the ground. You will have to pull it down and off of the tree.
When pulling poison Ivy off of a tree, even when dead, the oils can still irritate the skin, lungs, and eyes. Make certain that when dealing with poison ivy, you wear appropriate protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work boots, and gloves which completely cover the wrists. Make certain you wear some sort of hat, eye protection, and you’ll be best off to wear a respirator mask or wet down a large handkerchief cowboy-style to breathe through. When Poison Ivy dries out, pulling it off of the tree results in tiny dust particles coming off both the plant and the tree, and without a breeze, you will find that these particles will soon find their way into your hair, eyes, mouth, and nose, without you even realizing it. When you stick with these precautions, and work diligently, you will soon have a backyard that is poison ivy free, and ready for your next big cookout.