Screening plants and poison oak & blackberry removal

Asked September 30, 2017, 1:43 PM EDT

I live at about 1000 ft in Lebanon, OR. I want to screen above a slope and block the street below. My soil tends to be acid. I want the plant or small conifer to be deer proof, become drought tolerant, relatively disease resistant and fast growing. What do you think of Leland Cypress & Spartan Juniper? Maximum height would be 8 - 10 ft. Trimming is ok. Also, spray or green product to kill lots of blackberry & poison oak. Thanks for your help

Linn County Oregon

1 Response

Both the Leland Cypress and Spartan Juniper could be choices for limiting damage by deer. Keep in mind that no plant is deer-proof, but some plants are considered deer-resistant. If deer are hungry enough, they will feed on nearly any kind of plant! But, Leland Cypress grows quickly and will have a mature height of nearly 50'. Spartan Juniper has a mature height of 15' so would be the better choice of the two for your site requirements.

Hard-to-manage weeds like Poison Oak and Himalayan Blackberry are difficult to manage with non-conventional herbicides. Most non-conventional herbicides (acetic acid based, etc.) only burn the foliage and the plant quickly regrows. Your best non-herbicide option would be to remove the weeds manually but this is very labor intensive. Poison Oak removal tips another Ask An Expert answer: "To remove poison oak manually, you must get the entire plant including ALL of the roots to prevent it from growing back from the pieces left over. This kind of removal is usually done in the spring or the late fall when the ground is moist from our seasonal rains. If you try to do it at this time of year when the soil is dry and hard, you will most likely break off the stems which will leave the rootstock and cause vigorous re-sprouting. If you try to dig them out, you must be sure to get all the roots! Remember that your shovel may accumulate the oils that the plants produce, so be sure to thoroughly wash it after digging up this stuff. The oil is what causes the rash if you are allergic to the plant.

I don’t recommend manual removal if you are sensitive to poison oak. Even dried and dead parts of the plant can cause an allergic reaction. So once the pulled plants are out of the ground, I recommend that you take it to a disposal site (not a yard waste collection place) or put it in an out-of-the-way part of your property. You can even bury the dead plants. Remember it is NEVER safe to burn poison oak.

When pulling poison oak, I would recommend wearing disposable gloves and using a plastic bag. "

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