Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nature Guide: Poison Ivy . . . One Year Later

A year ago we reported that the decision not to use chemical weed control here in Princeton Landing was likely to lead to problems, especially with poison ivy. Although the decision was reversed this year, the damage has already been done.
Poison ivy is a tenacious plant. Once established, it spreads both above and beneath the ground. And it can only be removed either by repeated treatments with herbicides or by pulling it out by hand, which is never entirely successful.
The lack of chemical weed control last year allowed our poison ivy to flourish and gave it a considerable head start against any attempt at control. This problem was made worse this year by the length of time it took to reinstitute the application of a pre-emergent pesticide. By the time application began, many weeds, including poison ivy, had already emerged, rendering the herbicide almost useless.
This is not the fault of Brickman, our landscaping company, or Signature, our management company. It is the fault of our Landscape Committee and its leadership’s lack of knowledge and unwillingness to listen to expert advice. These errors in judgment will not only end up costing all of us more money, they may even cause harm to those who come into contact with the poison ivy.