Most people associate this nasty nuisance with its likelihood to cause a skin rash. Nevertheless, poison oak can also put a stranglehold on weakened areas in your lawn. It thrives in areas with plenty of sunlight and irrigation, but it can tolerate dry climates. Many people are allergic to its irritating oil urushiol, which causes mild to moderate reddish skin infections. The rash can last around ten days, but lawn infestations last all year.
Identifying Poison Oak
Depending on where it grows, Poison oak can grow as a vine or a shrub. The leaves usually have three scalloped leaflets each. During the fall, the leaves will go from dark green to a rich red color. Its small, whitish green flowers sprout where the leaves join to the stem. As a shrub, it can reach heights of one to six feet tall. Read Identifying Poisonous Weed Types for tips on identifying Poison Oak and other noxious weeds.
How Poison Oak Spreads
Poison oak springs up perennially from strong root crowns, and spreads by an extensive rhizome network. An initial infestation starts when birds disperse seeds to open areas in your yard. Flowering occurs from March until June, but the seeds are spread from late summer to fall. Regardless of the time of year, the oil that covers Poison Oak leaves can cause an allergic skin reaction.
Removal Techniques for Poison Oak This pesky weed will rarely infest a well-kept lawn, so make sure to fertilize and mow your lawn regularly. Poison oak can be controlled by applying Roundup® Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer. Always use gloves and protective gear when removing Poison Oak from your yard. If the infestation is widespread, call a professional removal service. For more information, see Easy spray-on control for poisonous weeds: How to Use Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer.
Take Safety Measures with Poison Oak
Even after the Poison Oak plant is dead, the leaves still can transmit its rash-inducing oil to your skin. Here are some safety measures you can take: