Disposing of poison oak

Asked November 18, 2016, 12:42 PM EST

We have several acres of land out near Elmira, Oregon and within that area there was a substantial amount of established poison oak when we purchased the property. I have been digging it out, including the roots, as much as I can. The remainder of our yard waste here ends up in a burn pile, but Im hesitant to burn the latge quantites of poison oak that Im accumalting. Is there a safe period of time after poison oak has been dug up that the oils have disolved and its ok to burn? Or how else can it be disposed of? Thank you Chris

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Do not burn poison oak. The oil remains active even on non poison oak items for at least a year. The smoke carries the oil wherever. Detached and dried brush still can cause dermatitis, so bury or stack the plant material at an out-of-the-way location, or take it to a disposal site. After it decomposes and sits a year, it should be all right, but still avoid the area if possible until no sign of the plants remain. Again, never burn poison-oak.