Good question: Who takes care of poison ivy along the roadside?

In a recent open thread, commenter spel made the observation that “poison ivy vines are creeping on to side walks in several places, along Rte. 85 and several other roads in south side of the town,” and wondered whether the town does anything to control the pesky creeper.

I asked DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan, and here’s what she had to say:

We don’t have a program for spraying for poison ivy. If people call with locations where the sidewalk is being narrowed by brush or poison ivy we will get out to mow it back as soon as we can.

You can contact the DPW with any reports at (508)-485-1210.

(Photo posted to Flickr by hoyasmeg)

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Eileen Samberg
12 years ago

Mowing poison ivy? Let me know where, so I can stay 100 feet away.

12 years ago

Eileen, My feelings exactly. My son is highly allergic and so I have done much research. Mowing will only scatter the small pieces, and just as with burning (some people actually do that!) this is very dangerous if ingested. The town could spray, but there may be issues with the chemicals and wetlands, etc. An expert would actually dig out the vines and/or dip the leaf ends in a solution to be drawn back into the plant to kill it. There is much too much ivy in Southborough for this choice. Perhaps Ms. Galligan could investigate what the State allows for spraying. Although I do see that the state highways also mowed the ivy.

B. Roberts
12 years ago

The poison ivy along Rt. 72 in front of my house has rapidly spread into my property. I am allergic and need help getting rid of the plants. Most of it is on state road property. Can you give me some advise?
Thanks, Barbara Roberts

12 years ago

Roundup is very effective for killing PI.

As someone who is highly alergic to the stuff, I have had great luck with a product called Technu. Its a soap that will wash off the oils in PI. Its sold at Walgreen’s + CVS.

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