The Poison Ivy - Poison Oak Blog

Urushiol lacquer table

In Japan and China, there is a tree that has a sap containing urushiol, the same oil that causes the skin rash from poison ivy, oak and sumac.

March 9, 2020 - 12:58pm
spring poison ivy

This very mild winter in the northeast will likely result in an early spree of poison ivy sprouting. 

Poison ivy tends to be among the early ones to leaf out (and early to give up in fall).

TAGS: spring
February 28, 2020 - 1:13pm
poison ivy sap

Here we have a 4-inch poison ivy vine that has been sawed through. Note how lots of sap seeps out from the bark layer. 

It is the plant sap that contains the urushiol oil that causes all the problems.

TAGS: urushiol, sap
February 11, 2020 - 12:15pm

I have rarely seen poison ivy climbing a white birch, but as this photo shows it is happy to do so.

But it also does a nice job of revealing itself against the white bark.

Some things to notice:

January 29, 2020 - 1:22pm
winter poison ivy vine

I recently got an email from a fellow who had cut down a tree and cut it up for firewood. It had been covered in poison ivy vines and he got a terrible case of it. Cutting the vines with a chain saw will unleash and splatter the plant sap all over, which is a way to get a hall of fame rash.

TAGS: winter, bark, hairy
January 16, 2020 - 2:08pm
nightmare poison ivy bubble rash

We apologize for even showing you this rash, but this is why this website exists in the first place.

Poison ivy and poison oak and poison sumac can cause an allergic reaction that produces spectacularly awful results. Giant rashes, sometimes with bubbles filled with fluids. 

TAGS: wrist, bubble
December 23, 2019 - 11:03am
poison ivy tshirts

Maybe you know somebody who went through a poison ivy nightmare.

Maybe you know somebody who is scared to death of poison ivy.

These quality educational poison ivy Tshirts make great presents for any past or potential victims of America's most hated weed.

TAGS: gjift, tshirt
December 2, 2019 - 4:00pm
winter poison ivy shrub

There are two reasons that it is hard to know that THIS IS POISON IVY!

1. This is a not-so-common form of poison ivy: it is growing almost as a shrub, sending vines branches in all directions, looking for either sun or something to climb upon.

TAGS: winter, shrub
November 13, 2019 - 4:23pm
fall poison ivy on fence

Here is a fence around a yard where the poison ivy has gone bonkers and is having an autumn party.

Couple of things to note here:

1. The poiison ivy had been cut back to the level of the hedge during the summer but came roaring back.

TAGS: fall, autumn, color, fence
October 27, 2019 - 10:10pm
Virginia Creeper vs Poison Ivy

On the left is a pretty example of Virginia creeper in the fall.

On the right is poison ivy.

In spite of how different they look, Virginia creeper is the number one plant that gets confused with poison ivy.

Here are the two clear ways to tell them apart:

October 21, 2019 - 4:07pm