Poison ivy is growing in my privet hedge. How can I get rid of it without harming the hedge?
—Cleo Thomas, Russell, Kentucky
First things first...make sure to cover yourself whenever working with poison ivy! To prevent getting an irritating rash, you'll need to keep the plants' sticky sap from coming in contact with your skin.
Then, I recommend cutting the poison ivy plants at ground level. This will kill the top portion of the plant, and it will eventually dry up.
Once new growth appears from the roots, paint it with a total vegetation killer such as Roundup or Finale. That's right...paint it. Use a paintbrush to keep the herbicide from your hedges, being very careful not to touch the privet branches or leaves.
Check the treated ivy in several weeks and repeat as needed. Watch for any poison ivy seedlings that may develop from seeds that have been lying dormant in the soil and treat those as well. Good luck!