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Tangled Branches: Cultivated

happenings in and around my zone 6b gardens in northern Virginia and in central Virginia

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Persimmon and The Poison Ivy

Normally I'm opposed to anything ending in "-icide". But I believe herbicide is the only practical way to deal with the huge amount of poison ivy at the woods' edge at Tangled Branches South. Most of the property is mercifully free of the stuff, but there's one section where it's practically the only thing growing.

I bought glyphosphate last spring, but couldn't make myself use it until early this summer and, well, poison ivy management is going to be a multi-year project. I've gone through a gallon and a half and only now am getting close enough to the trees to see what they are. But what marvelous trees! I knew of one sycamore tree among the maples and sweet gums, and I found a shrub I think is a deciduous holly (requires closer examination once I can get closer). One small tree stood out from the rest. The long drooping leaves made me think persimmon, even though I don't remember ever seeing a persimmon tree in person before.

Notice the dead vegetation in front and the poison ivy next to and behind the tree. This isn't the thickest patch of poison ivy either. But looking a little closer we find ... persimmons!

I want these persimmons. I really hope that spraying the herbicide so close to the tree doesn't damage it. It looks OK so far (fingers crossed).

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posted by Entangled at 8:01 AM ::: Permalink


Blogger Nancy J. Bond wrote...

Lucky you to have this beautiful tree on your property! I don't blame you for trying to eradicate the ivy with a herbicide...sometimes, it's the only thing that works on a large amount such as that.

9:01 AM, July 17, 2008  
Anonymous Lee wrote...

Did you see the article in the NYT
today about poison ivy?

10:50 AM, July 17, 2008  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl wrote...

Ooooh... what a bonus for clearing out that poison ivy! I'm like you, I don't like -icides or Roundup. But clearly this is a time and place for drastic measures--that's a LOT of poison ivy there.

1:14 PM, July 17, 2008  
Blogger Entangled wrote...

Nancy: I'm just hoping the tree survives the herbicide all around it, but not on it. It's a pretty little thing, even without the fruit.

Lee: Thanks, I did see the article and it reminded me I was going to write something about poison ivy. It's nice to know that the experts also think herbicide is the way to go.

Blackswamp Girl: I should take a wider-angle shot of the whole scene. The amount of poison ivy is impressive.

8:31 AM, July 18, 2008  
Blogger Sue Swift wrote...

Here we have persimmon trees everywhere, but no poison ivy. I think we win :)

4:59 AM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Entangled wrote...

Sue: Somewhere I read that in the early days of European plant collecting in North America, poison ivy was one of the plants innocently sent back to Europe for cultivation. It does have brilliant fall color, but I still don't want it anywhere near where I live.

9:05 AM, July 19, 2008  
Anonymous Kim wrote...

I didn't like what it said in the article Lee linked to - that with more CO2, it gets more toxic and grows better. I don't use -icides, I pull it and put it in plastic bags. I didn't get got last year, but I sure did this year, even with precautions. Ah, well. We do what works best for us. Good luck with yours, and enjoy those persimmons. I love them, too.

12:24 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger Entangled wrote...

Kim: I use the Mike McGrath plastic bag method on my smaller poison ivy problem in Northern Virginia, but the scope of the problem in Central Virginia drove me to the herbicide. I'd have to shop for months to acquire enough plastic shopping bags ;-)

I hope I get to taste those persimmons!

10:01 AM, July 21, 2008  

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