Herbicide: chemical

RoundUp for poison ivy is a glyphosate herbicide.

RoundUp for poison ivy is a glyphosate herbicide.

Why use herbicide?

The use of herbicide can help to control poison ivy and avoid the dangerous uprooting by hand. A glyphosate herbicide should be applied on foliage after the period of active growth of the plant in July and August, when the foliage is fully deployed and the plant is in the phase of energy capture through its leaves.

Auxinic herbicides such as triclopyr (the most effective), 2,4-D, dicamba, and combinations of these herbicides can be applied earlier than glyphosate, from spring to midsummer. The flowering stage is also a good time to spray auxinic herbicides. A single treatment, which poisons the plant to the root and kills, may suffice, but may be not enough for tough poison oak plants. If there is regrowth, especially on older and vigorous plants, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment. You must spray the herbicide directly on the plant and avoid damaging surrounding plants you want to keep. Be careful! Chemicals pollute the soil and will not dissolve in nature like and vinegar.

Many types of chemical

Chemical herbicides for domestic use available in garden centers or hardware stores, typically contain one or a mixture of the following active ingredients:

Glyphosate: Roundup for poison ivy (1% glyphosate)
  • Triclopyr:
    Ortho Brush-B-Gon Poison Ivy and Brush Killer (0,8% triclopyr),
    Bayer Advanced Brush Killer Plus (0,8% triclopyr)
  • Amitrole, amitrole T: Nufarm
  • 2,4-D, chlorophenoxy
  • Mecoprop
  • Dicamba
  • Combination of 2,4-D and dicamba:
    Spectracide Poison Ivy & Poison Oak Brush Killer,
    Bonide Poison Oak & Ivy Killer.
  • Combination of glyphosate and imazapyr:
    Ortho Groundclear Vegetation Killer (1% glyphosate)
  • Simazine (banned in Europe since 2003)
  • Ammonium sulfamate (banned in Europe since 2007)

The effects of the herbicides may be influenced by the combination of the active ingredients. For example, when dicamba and 2,4-D are combined, it provides much better control. These herbicides are available in premixed combinations. Applied on poison oak, dicamba used at 0.5% gives a better long-term control than 2,4-D. Furthermore, triclopyr ester plus 2,4-D ester is more effective and gives better absorption into the leaves. Complete operating instructions for each herbicide are indicated on the product label.

For shrubbies toxicodendron

It is possible to apply herbicide on the stump of the toxicodendron shrubs or thick vines. Stump are most effective during periods of active growth in spring and summer. Cut the shrub or thick vine 2 inches (5 cm) above the soil surface, and treat the stump immediately with herbicide. Use herbicide like glyphosate, triclopyr, or combinations of triclopyr with 2,4-D (or 2,4-D and 2,4-DP). Apply it with a 1 to 2 inch paint brush or with a plastic squeeze bottle. Treatment solutions should contain either undiluted glyphosate (use a product that contains at least 20% glyphosate), triclopyr amine, or a 20 to 30% triclopyr ester solution mixed with 70 to 80% methylated or ethylated seed oil.

It is also possible to apply herbicide on the base of the trunk. Apply triclopyr to cover a 6 to 12 inch (15 to 30 cm) at the base of the trunk. Other types of herbicide are less adequate for that job. Chemical herbicides work very well against poison sumac.

The cost

Unlike the free uprooting, the use of chemical herbicides costs a lot. And a gallon (3.5 liters) may be necessary to cover only 200 square feet of ground densely covered with poison ivy. Over a large area, this technique can be expensive, so table salt and/or vinegar can save you money.


Roundup Herbicide (1% glyphosate)

Ortho Groundclear Herbicide (1% glyphosate)

Ortho Herbicide (0.8% triclopyr)

Bayer Herbicide (0.8% triclopyr)

Spectracide Brush Killer Herbicide
Bonide Poison Oak & Ivy Killer
(0.6% 2,4-D)

Finale Herbicide (11.33% glufosinate ammonium)

Videos about chemical herbicide

Resources about chemical herbicide

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