poisonous plants in your landscape

Poisonous Plants in Your Landscape

Poisonous plants in your landscape can put any homeowner or landscape crew at risk from the painful rashes they cause. Some of the plants can even cause blindness or permanent sensitivity to light. If you or a client have an infestation of poisonous plants in your landscape, you should take steps to eradicate them as soon as possible. We have the three most common poisonous landscapes listed below with instructions and how to get rid of them. Remember that Valley Green staff can help in picking an herbicide to help eradicate the poisonous plants in your landscape.

Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy is a very common plant that can cause a painful and itchy rash. Poison Ivy prefers moist and wooded areas but can found in open planted areas. It grows as a shrub or climbing vine. The substance that causes the rash is called urushiol. It can be transferred to clothing and the fur of pets so be cautious and properly wash any surface that you think has come into contact with the oil.

Getting rid of poison ivy is a challenge. It should never be burned as the smoke can irritate the lungs and possibly cause a terrible allergic reaction. You can dig the poison ivy out by hand but must wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when doing so. If you have a large spread of poison ivy growing on your property, Glyphosate can kill poison ivy off but it needs to be applied with the proper dosage and at the right intervals.

Giant Hogweed
Customers in New Hampshire and New York should watch out for this attractive yet dangerous plant. It grows to heights between seven and fourteen feet tall. Giant Hogweed is dangerous because of the sap it oozes. The chemicals in it cause photo sensitivity in the skin which results in painful blisters. It is especially dangerous if it gets into someone’s eye. If the sap gets into someone’s eye, they can end up susceptible to blindness and permanent sensitivity to light.

To get rid of Hogweed, you’ll need to cut the roots remove the heads off of the flowers. Always wear eye protection, gloves, along sleeved shirt, and long pants. You can also use Glyphosate to get rid of the plant but remember that the seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to fifteen years. To prevent this plant from coming back, plant something else that will provide competition for the remaining seedlings.

Poison Sumac
The plant grows as a small tree or shrub. Its stems are red and it has medium-sized green leaves. It has the same oil as Poison Ivy called urushiol. It also causes the same itchy and burning rash. What makes Poison Sumac worse than Poison Ivy is that the urushiol is more concentrated in poison sumac. This makes the urushiol’s reaction on the skin much worse. The oil can even exist on dead Poison Sumac.There are several varieties of Poison Sumac, these include Staghorn Sumac, Fragrant Sumac, and Evergreen Sumac.

Removing any type of Poison Sumac must be done with protective clothing and eyewear. Trim it down with pruning shears and bag the clippings right away. Never burn them as the smoke is toxic. Make sure you dispose of the roots and cover the areas where the plant was growing with cardboard. This will ensure any remaining plants are smothered.

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