Poison Oak or Just a Weed?

This is in my flower garden. Is it poison?
poison oak or just a weed, flowers, gardening, Is this poison
Is this poison?
poison oak or just a weed, flowers, gardening, Same plants different view is it poison
Same plants different view-is it poison?
  45 answers
  • Cindy Luby Cindy Luby on May 29, 2013
    it looks likes wisteria.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 29, 2013
    I have lots of wisteria. It has smaller leaves longer and rippled, and many leaves on each stem. Sorry-I don't think it is that.

  • Lori Bryant Lori Bryant on May 29, 2013
    It's poison oak alright! It hates me and I hate it!!

  • Kim Kim on May 29, 2013
    it's poison ivy

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 29, 2013
    Kinda thought that. Thanks so much. I won't be working in that flower bed:) These plants are all in it and the bed is filled with azaleas, lilies and other plants. Anyone know how to get rid of it if other flowers are well established around it?

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on May 29, 2013
    @Sylvia Smothers Lawing not sure which if any might be. Here are a couple o links to help you decide. You could also use a baggie (inside out so you don't touch the leaves) to pick, seal and bring to a local nursery to have it identified accurately. Poison ivy link - http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/bio406d/images/pics/ana/toxicodendron_radicans.htm Poison oak http://www.poisonoakandpoisonivy.com/poisonivypoison.html

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 29, 2013
    Thanks, but I am highly allergic to it. Don't believe I want to get that close. I could take the picture. Good idea.

  • Cindy tustin Cindy tustin on May 30, 2013
    Looks like poison, regardless remove carefully.!!

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 30, 2013
    I checked out the poison ivy link above.The leaves are not shiny,they don't have any red tint. I think they are poison, but I am not sure. I am going to do some more research before I try to do anything with it. Thanks for all the comments.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 30, 2013
    I am so allergic to poison oak that I must be sure. I will do some more research.

  • Emilia Menthe Emilia Menthe on May 30, 2013
    It is poison ivy. "Leaves three, quickly flee." It the cut of the leaves. I didn't become allergic until my 40's and oh, my! Use round-up cause it likes to come back alot here in Texas. Your pets can get the oils on them and transfer the oil to you. Good luck!

  • Tim Koeller Tim Koeller on May 30, 2013
    Yes, animals can and will transfer the oils to us humans. I was petting the dogs at my mom and dad's farm. Rubbed my eyes as they were sore, low and behold - poison oak in the eyes. In 24 hours they swelled shut. Steroid shot and eyedrops took 2 days to bring it down. Be afraid...very afraid!

  • Elaine J Elaine J on May 30, 2013
    Yes, and the oil (Urushiol) can remain on clothing, think shoes, and you can react to it up to a year later!

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on May 30, 2013
    I am not very allergic to poison ivy, but I cover up like I am doing surgery when I tackle it in my yard. I have been waging war in my yard for the last two months. It was growing in the trees and along the ground. I use disposable gloves, long sleeves and long clothing and take a shovel and chop once at the root and then carefully put it in a plastic garbage bag. I then strip off gloves and throw away, then take all the clothes that might be contaminated and wash them immediately. Then shower.... have not had any poison outbreak.

  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on May 30, 2013
    Yes!! That is Poison Ivy :)

  • Tracy Boyle Tracy Boyle on May 30, 2013
    Yes! Poison!

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 30, 2013
    Thanks everyone. You guys are the best. I am going to get Round up and take all precautions you mentioned.

  • Lorraine Edwards Lorraine Edwards on May 30, 2013
    Sylvia I'm with you - don't chance it--I have contracted poison ivy over the last two seasons and both times I was fully covered with gloves, long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks and shoes. Came in, threw the clothes in the washer and scrubbed in the shower, head to toe, including shampooing! Still, got it on my forearms, but was able to keep it under control. I really hate that it lurks and hides in beds, under other stuff, crawling up trees, etc. and keeps me from tending the beds. I got it twice last year and vowed to hire someone else to do the gardening, so that's what I did. Call a weed control company to come over, identify it and rid the area of it. In NJ I had a company come out and spray for it. Good luck and stay far away from it!

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 30, 2013
    I know, I so wanted to work in that flower bed. Now, I will just spray the poison and stay away.

  • Joanie J Joanie J on May 30, 2013
    when we where clearing brush and weeds from our front yard and burning it,poison ivy was thrown into the fire and from the smoke and fumes I ended up getting welts on every exposed part of my body,including my face...never,never ,burn poison oak or poison ivy. The doc said you can even get it in your lungs.I ended up digging up all the crawling, spreading roots under the soil.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 31, 2013
    Thank you, you sound like me. I can't dig it up, I'm too allergic. I am going to see if the Round Up will kill it. This flower bed is well established with regular ivy and azaleas and many other plants. The roots probably go all under the other plants.

  • Maggie Lais Maggie Lais on May 31, 2013
    I too think it could definitely be poison oak. Are there any other Oak trees nearby that it could be from? If there are no oaks anywhere nearby, assume the worst. It can look like a ground cover, a vine, a low shrub, a tall shrub, and the branches can even get woody. The bare stems are as toxic as the leaves, even in the dead of winter. I think you would tend to see more hints of red in the fall... good luck!

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 31, 2013
    I was told to spray it with Round Up, leave it alone for a year and spray again. My friend said her doctor told her that it remains toxic for a year after it is dead. I don't need to plant anything in that bed. I just want to contain the poison ivy so it doesn't spread.

  • Colleen P Colleen P on May 31, 2013
    you need to get the round up that is for poison ivy. it will say it right on the front label.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on May 31, 2013
    Thanks I will-tomorrow

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Jun 02, 2013
    The ONLY poison I use in my yard is a generic version of Round-up for Poison Ivy (the instructions tell you how to mix it for various types of plants), which I mix up and use in the sprayer-bottle of Round-up that I originally bought--much cheaper that way. When I first moved into my house (8 ys ago) there was lots of P.I. all over my wooded lot, growing up the oak trees, etc. I did "Poison Ivy Patrol" once a wk for several seasons, zapping every tiny sprout I could find. You can also spray the vines on the trees, because they have aerial roots that will absorb the poison and kill the plant. I'm happy to say that after 2-3 seasons I had virtually eradicated it from my lot (although my neighbor's lot is infested), and now I only have to patrol occasionally to get any new plants that may be trying to grow (since birds love the berries, they can spread seeds in their droppings). I'm ashamed to admit I had to resort to using this awful herbicide, but for this one purpose it's about the only thing I could find to use, and I did a lot of research.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on Jun 02, 2013
    Exactly what did you use. And, am I to understand that you did not attempt to remove the plants?You sprayed them weekly for three years during growing season?

  • Maggie Lais Maggie Lais on Jun 03, 2013
    I have a feeling that working with Poison Oak or Poison Ivy is like when I try to use bleach in the laundry. It doesn't matter how careful I am, I always seem to end up with a drop or two of bleach somewhere, like the rug, my shirt, my shoes... so, along those lines, I think that to kill the plants is a much wiser route, especially with your severe allergies. it is so hard to remember, after a few hours of hard gardening in the sun or humidity, that every outer surface of your protective clothing should be assumed contaminated with the poison oil. The fact is that it can transfer from clothing or boots, or plastic goggles, to a water tap when you rinse off your shovel, from the water tap to your Golden Retriever's beautiful coat when she stops to catch the last few drops of water, and then to your kitchen rag rug, and even to the bedspread on your side of the bed! I would spray the H#*l out of it, cordon the area off, and stay away during high heat, as this nasty oil can be released into the air in high temperatures! And For sure, do not burn the debris! It will absolutely be released into the air, where you could breathe it in. Additionally, municipal dumps or composting operations cannot take it, so you may need to bag the dead plant in Plastic, and send it to the landfill. In this case, I think it would be an appropriate response to go at it full force with spray, and remove debris like stems and dropped leaves in cold weather, to reduce your exposure. There is lotion called Tecnu? that is very helpful. and before you touch any Poison Ivy/Oak, read up on the best methods for washing it off...it is very specific, and easy to do it the right way. So! I wish you the best of luck!

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on Jun 03, 2013
    Thank for the input. I will be very careful:)

  • Patty S Patty S on Jun 03, 2013
    Even burning poison Ivy will sent the poison oil through the air in the smoke, no fun if you get the infection. Our wooden land was full of it when my kids were growing up. I had bumpy itches oozie kids all summer until I taught them how to identify it.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Jun 03, 2013
    Yes, Sylvia--I never go near the stuff. I just sprayed it, every available surface I could--leaves, stems, vines--anything with 3 leaves--and even though it's supposed to be killed with only one application, I'd come back the following wk and hit the yellowing plants again. I still have some of the dead vines left on a few of my oak trees, but they're definitely dead. I agree that there's virtually NO way to work around it without getting some of that oil on you, no matter how careful you try to be, and absolutely don't try to burn it, or even use a mower or trimmer, because that just sprays the oil around from the cut stems. I have 2 dogs, and I definitely didn't want them to get into it--for all the above reasons others have mentioned. I think the generic stuff is called glyphosate (am not at home right now), and I got a 5-gal bucket for under $20 at Rural King. I also heard an interview last yr on NPR of a woman who's been researching PI for many yrs--she said it's growing much stronger d/t the warming climate, and the oils are becoming much more allergenic. It's evil stuff, for sure!

  • Sharon C Sharon C on Jun 09, 2013
    I was told that the only way to really kill it is to scrape it and make sure the round up gets into the scrape, then it will carry the roundup down into the root system. Just spraying whats above the ground will only kill that, its the roots that have to be killed.

  • Sharon C Sharon C on Jun 09, 2013
    Oh, and make sure you wear heavy duty rubber gloves when treating the plant, them rinse them really well in soapy water.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on Jun 09, 2013
    Thanks. I will-I'm being careful.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Jun 10, 2013
    Sharon, I'm sorry to say you have been misinformed--there is no need to scrape any part of the plant, as absorption through the leaves and aerial root system will carry the poison throughout all of the plant. Since it spreads both by seed and by its rhizome, the "roots" are never really dead (Urushiol remains stable for over 100 yrs), which is why digging it up is pointless and dangerous (a very sensitive person will react to 2 micrograms of urushiol). Here are a few great links about PI, for anyone who is interested: <http://www.poison-ivy.org/html/faq.htm>;, <http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0802.htm>;, <http://www.ou.edu/oupd/pivyp.htm>;. The first link has many more, as well.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on Jun 11, 2013
    Thanks -I will check them out:)

  • Stacie Stacie on Jun 26, 2013
    The last thing I knew about poison ivy it had a a soft velvet feel and look with a redish tent of color. I'm not positive but could it be a tree sprout like oak or something? I had something like that in my yard and it turned out to be a mulberry tree.

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on Jun 26, 2013
    Everyone pretty much agrees that it is poison. I have treated it as if it were. I might take the photo to a nursery to be sure. Thanks. it would be great if it were a tree.I have maple,cherry and oak sprouts in that area. I will check on it. Thanks again:)

  • Stacie Stacie on Jun 27, 2013
    Thanks for responding back so quickly, ad I hope it's a tree also. Did you know that some people can contact poison ivy, etc. through the air? My x-husband was allergic to it and had to be careful walking down wind of it. He got it by the wind according to doctor. Anyway be careful poisons are not something to play with if you know my meaning. Have a good day. :)

  • Sylvia Smothers Lawing Sylvia Smothers Lawing on Jun 27, 2013
    Thanks -you too

  • Cathy Tanksley Garrard Cathy Tanksley Garrard on Jul 25, 2013

  • Sherry Gustafson Sherry Gustafson on Jun 06, 2014
    This is a picture of poison ivy. Leaves of three , leave them be. That is the old adadge to help you remember.

  • Cindy Guy Bellwood Cindy Guy Bellwood on Jul 14, 2014
    Poison ivy. I usually take a bottle of dish soap out with me when I pull weeds. If I think that I grabbed a hold of some, I wash that area with dish soap and water at the hose. When you get in take a warm shower and use the dish soap on that area again and wipe down with some Everclear from the liqour store. I found this out one year after getting into poison ivy and I worked as a lab tech for a distillery. They brought up the samples to the lab to be proofed and we poured out what was left. Not the grain alcohol though. Everyone wanted it for cleaning to drinking. I used this and the next day it's gone!

  • EL Hoard EL Hoard on Feb 16, 2015
    Sherry Gustafson is correct.

  • Dee Dee on Feb 16, 2015
    If you come in contact with poison ivy, wiping immediately with baby wipes can remove the oil.