Backyard Monster Poison Ivy

poison ivy bush

Basically, poison ivy is a vine. It usually runs along the ground or climbs up trees and walls. 

However, in some cases, it grows into a shrub, and this backyard monster is one of the nastiest we have seen: sent into us by a viewer wondering if this shrub could really be poison ivy.

It is poison ivy, but poison ivy that has morphed into something other than a vine. Here is how that usually happens. The vine climbs a tree stump or a rock, but when it gets to the top there is no place to go, so it starts reaching out in all directions, looking for something else to climb on. Finding nothing, it keeps sticking out growing tips that eventually grow into branches, becoming like the limbs of a shrub.

Bottom line here: never assume a shrub is not poison ivy until you look closely at the leaves. Leaves of three? No thorns? Could be poison ivy. And this might be a good time to use the SeeLeaf poison ivy test swabs to see if a plant really IS poison ivy or not.