Poison Ivy in tree

Asked July 9, 2020, 10:24 AM EDT

Is there any way to kill poison ivy that has twined its way up through my spruce tree?

Eaton County Michigan

1 Response

Yes, I would recommend cutting it at the base and treating it with a concentrated herbicide, either triclopyr (BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus, Ortho Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer, etc.) and/or glyphosate (Roundup Super Concentrate, Roundup Concentrate + Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer has both). You need to treat the stump within 5 minutes of cutting it to ensure adequate uptake. Using this method will minimize off-target movement of the herbicide. Remember to always read and follow all labeled directions when using any pesticide.

Be sure to protect your skin during the process to avoid contact with the poison ivy. The irritant oil, urushiol, if found on all parts of the plant and persists after death of the plant. If you remove poison ivy bag and dispose of it. Never burn poison ivy to avoid lung irritation. Also clean all tools after use to prevent spread of the oil.

We recently wrote a new bulletin on poison ivy identification and control that may be useful to you. You can download it for free at the following link:

If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at hiller12@msu.edu.