Hi, I quit mowing beneath a red oak and stand of white pine last year and now have many of these plants. The leaves resemble poison ivy but with a pair of leaves lower on the stem.The growth is upright and the foliage quite soft. Hoping you might be able to tell me what it is. I think it's pretty but want to make sure it's not poison or invasive. Thanks, John
Grand Traverse County Michigan
Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.Good news, this plant is definitly NOT poison ivy. Here is a fact sheet about poison ivy with some nice pictures to help you identify it.
The plant you have growing there looks like an ash tree seedling. If this is under other trees, you may want to get rid of it before it gets too large to deal with easily. Some other ground covers that might be good for the site are discussed in the following article, "Shady Lawn Alternatives".
I hope this is helpful!