Poison Ivy

I thought I still had resistance to poison ivy. You can actually build up a tolerance to it if you’re exposed enough.

Moving off the farm clearly hasn’t been kind to me, I never remember getting actual, weeping hives after handling the stuff. The worst was I used to get a rash and just make a mental note not to touch it.

We’ve got ivy (decorative) going up the trees in the yard and used as ground cover. I personally hate this, the previous owner had no idea that while it makes fantastic ground cover, it also chokes the hell out of all the trees it grows on. Of course, whoever built this development many years ago also put it in everyones back yard. While I feel like we’re doing the woods behind the house a disservice with it, I also feel like it’s impossible to clean up.

All of the trees on our property I gave a quick walk around and if there was climbing ivy on the tree, I cut the stem. My buck knife was significantly duller by the end of this process (10 trees worth of ivy total) and one tree in particular just outside the fence is completely dead. The other trees may end up following suit shortly, the ivy was mature enough to have grown out along the branches and it covers the trees leaves. There may be quite a bit of firewood this fall depending.

The ivy gets under the bark with it’s suckers and still has managed to stay green (but drooping) a week later. This, to me, is wild because in the spring and summer the roots are generally pumping as much as they can to the leaves. Cut the vines low and I would expect the leaves to die in short order. What I am suprised at is the ivy wood itself hasn’t bled anything. Either the ivy has god’s own pulmonary system for a plant or these guys weren’t working too hard. It’s also possible the plants have become so ingrained in the tree that they don’t need roots anymore.

This fall I plan on rubbing what low stems are left with gasoline. The gasoline penetrates the oily layer present on all ivy leaves, gets transported to the roots and poisons the whole system.

All this work wouldn’t be complete without a walk through the woods to survey what other ivy is out there. Upon my return I took a shower but made the mistake of taking a hot shower before checking to see if I had picked up any oil. Oh what a tragedy, I missed a legitimate opportunity to rub alcohol directly into my bloodstream via my open wounds! The next day the familiar rash appeared and I didn’t think anything of it. Two days later, it’s weeping hives.

Thankfully, I can give COLLOIDAL OATMEAL positive reviews for getting rid of the itch but more importantly drying out the sites which broke out. Now, if only I could get rid of all the ivy in the first place, I would be set.