Poison Ivy

Asked June 18, 2018, 3:01 PM EDT

I am looking at a piece of property for which the intended use will be to produce vegetables. Right now the field is full of poison ivy. What is the best remediation for poison ivy? Controlled burn? Grazing? Mowing? Herbicide spray?

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

Would it be possible to submit (or email to me at hiller12@msu.edu) photos for the poison ivy to confirm its identification? The only reason I ask is that poison ivy does not typically grow in full sun, which is what I am picturing for a field to be used for vegetable production.

Assuming it is poison ivy you are limited in your options for control. Due to the irritation factor, you would not want to graze, mow or burn the ivy. Burning poison ivy, in particular, can release the irritant substance (urushiol) into the air, creating a breathing hazard. It could be chemically terminated using glyphosate, but it may require multiple applications. Other herbicides, such as triclopyr, which may be more effective would likely pose a carryover risk to the vegetables to be planted. Once the poison ivy is dessicated the leaves and roots would still contain the irritant and could cause concerns for people working in the field. Urushiol does not break down quickly.