August 24, 2015 |
There are a lot of things Sean Hartmann likes about his job as a tree trimmer. It pays well, and the roadsides where he works are often beautiful, especially in the spring and fall. But he definitely does not love poison ivy. It's everywhere. Hairy vines the size of his forearm climb the trees he must cut. Even if he can manage not to touch it, it winds up on the chain saw and in the wood chipper. Fragments fly all around him. Until this year, the result was constantly blistered, oozing skin.
June 25, 1999 |
Q: We just moved to a new house, and a hedge on the border of our lawn is overgrown with poison ivy. I am extremely allergic to poison ivy. The previous owner ripped it all out last year, but now it is back. My husband wants to use a poison spray on it, but I want us to be organic in our new home. Do you have any advice? Nancy Logue (via e-mail) A: Yes - tell your husband this is his big chance to be a major-league, testosterone-fueled, gen-you-whine Garden Cowboy! Any old wimpy thing can go spray poison around.
April 13, 1988 |
Ah, spring. Time to clean up the back yard, rip out those weeds, tiptoe through the tulips and scratch, scratch, scratch. That's because weekend weeders are already showing up at dermatologists' offices with poison ivy. "Everybody knows to watch out for an ivy with three shiny leaves that appear in clusters of three, but in the early spring, they may fail to recognize poison ivy in the spring when its old leaves are withered," said...
August 4, 1993 |
Dear Anne and Nan: Is there any way I can get rid of poison ivy without poisoning myself in the process? - Steve The best way to eradicate the awful stuff is to pour boiling water directly on each plant. Leave the plant there for a few days to make sure it is thoroughly dead and then, wearing protective leather gloves, either pry or dig it up. Do NOT burn. Discard the plants either in plastic trash bags or in a pile far away from the house. If, while you are doing the boiling water trick, you come into contact with the poison ivy, run straight to the house and wash the area with vinegar.
May 31, 2014 |
Pat Gusoff had what Umar Mycka calls "a yard full of trouble" at her Bustleton home. It wasn't so much the honeysuckle, mulberries, bittersweet, chokecherries, and English ivy, although they can be a nasty business. No, it was all those shiny, three-leaf shoots of Toxicodendron radicans, the dreaded poison ivy. Mycka knows this North American scourge intimately from four decades of work as a gardener/groundskeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo. Since 2008, he has also had a small business (idontwantpoisonivy.com)
May 1, 1988 |
The good news is that spring is here. The bad news is that along with the greening of the landscape is the reddening of many inhabitants - from poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, you cannot "catch" the wet, itchy rash from other people. The bad news is just about everything else that has to do with the noxious plants. For starters, 70 percent of the population of the United States is genetically susceptible to the rash caused by exposure to poison ivy, oak and sumac, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
June 4, 2006 |
Never mind that Atlantic City will be underwater and the rest of us blown away by hurricanes. Here's another threat associated with global warming: giant poison ivy vines. And for those who come in contact with them, a more vigorous version of the horrendously itchy and ugly rash. For decades, foresters have noted the increased abundance of woody vines. They suspected rising levels of carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. Now, researchers who spent six years monitoring plots of poison ivy in the Duke University forest - to their eventual discomfort - have proved it. Lead researcher Jacqueline E. Mohan was a Duke doctoral student when she picked poison ivy for her study because, as only a scientist might say, it is "a very special type of plant.
June 20, 1994 |
Andy James' right forearm bulges as he lifts and carries the ladder at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, his T-shirt and jeans are soaked with sweat, and his skin, polished to a shine, shows off the muscle definition. But when confronted by leaves lying on the ground, he shrinks. He asks Eddie Williams, twice his age and no glistening forearm muscles, to take command and lead the charge. "He's one of the people that just don't get it," said James, 31, shaking his head at Williams' immunity.
July 27, 2015 |
On a sunny May afternoon, dressed for the heat in shorts and a T-shirt, I yanked stubborn vines from long-ignored trees and shrubs, making way for a new flower bed. After four hours of effort, I felt pretty pleased with the result. Those good feelings, however, didn't last. About 85 percent of the population is allergic to poison ivy, and 10 percent to 15 percent are extremely allergic, according to the American Skin Association. I learned that I fell squarely in the second camp.
August 6, 1992 |
"Leaves of three, let them be" is sound advice to help you avoid the dreaded poison ivy plant. But what about those times you break out in the characteristic blistering rash without having touched a single leaf? And is poison ivy contagious? "There are many popular misconceptions about poison ivy and poison oak, which predominate on the East Coast, and poison sumac, which tends to grow in swampy areas," says Dr. Bill H. Halmi, a dermatologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Jefferson Park Hospital.