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Be careful…Don’t touch the wrong plant!

Stay away from the poison!  What I mean is Poison Sumac, Poison Oak and Poison Ivy.


It is very common to hear about and see Poison Ivy.  We have all either had it or heard stories from those who have been in contact with it only to have permanent memories of how terrible the experience was.  My friend Greengiant recently wrote a post about his experiences with the evil Poison Ivy and what it looks like.


Take a look.


But what about the "other" Poisonous plants?  If you were hiking or out walking, would you be able to identify Poison Sumac? Poison Oak?



Beware of the red stems and berries. 


Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) – Contains 7-13 leaflets and is a shrub that can grow up to 30 ft. tall.  It has red stems and berries that produce tiny white flowers. It grows in very wet soil such as swamps or bogs and can be found in the eastern US and Canada.   All parts on this plant contain urushiol, which is a resin that causes skin and mucus membrane irritation.  Be very careful, if you are burning brush.  If Poison Sumac is burned, the inhalation of the smoke can get into the lining of the lungs and could be potentially fatal.  Poison Sumac is the most toxic of plants in its family and perhaps one of the most toxic plants in the US.


Symptoms are severe pain and itching, blistering and swelling.  Many people are allergic to Poison Sumac and develop Contact Dermatitis as a result. Serious allergies may occur.

Poison Sumac Stems 1.jpg   

Poison Sumac Stems


Poison Sumac Tree.jpg

Poison Sumac Tree/Shrub


Poison Sumac Flowers.jpg

Poison Sumac Flowers


Poison Oak (Toxicodendron pubescens)- This is a smaller shrub that can grow up to 3ft tall.  Its leaflets are usually hairy and may vary in shape and size.  With 3 leaflets, this looks closer to Poison Ivy than its cousin Poison Sumac.  Usually found in the woods, in dry, sandy areas.  All parts of this plant contain urushoil which can cause severe dermatitis in sensitive people.

Symptoms are similar to Poison Ivy starting with severe itching, inflammation and bumps.


Poison Oak 1.jpg

 Poison Oak


Western Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) – Found only on the Pacific Coast of the US and Canada.  It is a vine with berries that can climb up trees found in damp, areas with running water such as waterfalls. The Western Poison Oak has urushiol in its leaves and stems that in 15-30% of people may have a reaction to coming in contact with the oil.  With similar symptoms to Poison Ivy, itching, inflammation and bumps can lead to contact dermatitis.


Western Poison Oak 1.jpg

Western Poison Oak


If you find any of these poisonous plants the following products will kill them dead! Round up Poison Ivy.jpg  Ortho Max Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer.jpg

Available in ready to use and concentrate for larger areas.






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Posted 2012-07-31T17:06:59+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS Jen_HD_BOS

Ok, so you are out on a nice stroll and you are kind of aware of the plants around you, but you are walking and talking and not paying 100% attention to where you are going  and you round a brushy corner and start to push the branches away.  Before you realize it, you notice that these nice green branches are also trimmed with red throughout and to your displeasure; you just pushed away an arm full of poison oak!!!!  


This has happened to me and as I found out at an early age, I am highly allergic to poison oak.  I can pick up the poison oak spores off my backpack a year later!!!!  Or your dog that loves to run thru all the bushes comes back to you after he (or she or it!) has run thru a bunch of the nasty stuff and of course you pet the dog and then wipe your arm off because there were leaves on the dog and……………… get the picture, Right?  So, now you have come in contact with this nasty plant which must have been something conjured up out of Pandora’s Box!  What do you do now???    If you are like me, I still love to hike, albeit, not as much as I use to 15 years ago, but I am still able to take a little stroll thru the wooded areas, but I am still highly susceptible to the spores of this poison oak stuff.  I wear a long sleeve shirt and use my elbows to move any suspected vines or branches out of my way. 


I know that I am bound to get some poison oak on myself somehow some way, so let me give you my recipe for getting rid of poison oak or any of its counter parts.  Basically, your skin reacts to the spores and causes an oozing if it progresses untreated. I carry some pop cycle sticks, a mixture of baking soda, salt, peroxide and rubbing alcohol which I rub onto the affected area.  The mixture will dry out the affected area and can be used with Calamine lotion as well.  It is a great mixture because it is made from things that you probably have in your kitchen already and it works too!!  The best part about the treatment is that you get to “Scratch the Itch”!!!  That is what the pop cycle sticks are for!  If you near a stream, you can try rinsing the nasty stuff off your arm but you have to be careful not to rub it in, rinse only.


The best course of action is to avoid the plants entirely, but, I tried that too and somewhere, somehow I still end up with poison oak spores on my shirt, pants or backpack and by the time I get home from my hike thru the woods, I am already itching!!!  Have fun out hiking and watch where you are going all the time!!!


This has been another of,

Best Answer

Posted 2012-07-31T19:54:43+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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