Poison Oak free just a dream?

Poison Oak
Photo credit: Larry Burrill

We are new to southern Oregon and have moved onto a property that has a significant amount of poison oak. Two members of our family have significant allergies to this pesky plant. We would Like to plant grass and need to rid the area of poison oak. What is the best way to do this?

- Josephine County, Oregon

There are two chemical products on the market that do well on poison oak. Follow the label instructions carefully and protect yourself. They are Glyphosate (several brands, such as Round-Up) and Triclopyr plus 2,4-D products, such as Crossbow. Look for the chemical names on the products; you don't have to necessarily buy those brands.

It may take more than one spraying to rid yourself of it, but mine has been gone for 10 years now.

Poison oak is actively growing now, so a good time to spray. Don't spray near waterways as the products could harm water species, and the sprays are indiscrimate, so protect plants you want to keep.

I have 5 acres of poison oak, but I only spray areas where I go frequently.

Sharon May
Master Gardener Volunteer
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