Is there a better way to remove a poison oak plant than with a chainsaw?

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On Tue, 8 Jan 2013 20:55:49 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Hey, I'n going to give the rock salt a try. It's cheaper than diesel fuel too, and probably is safer for the environment.
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On Wed, 09 Jan 2013 03:32:55 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

I buy water softener salt at Lowe's, 40 pounds/$4... rock salt costs even less. The salt does no permanent damage and in fact the critters use it for a salt lick. After about a year the salt dilutes from precipitation as though you never placed it there.
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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 12:42:29 -0600, homeowner wrote:

I have read that rock salt works, so that is an option which might be less harmful to the environment than diesel fuel.
I've never used rock salt before, so I'd have to research how to use it on plants.
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On 1/8/2013 1:33 PM, Danny D. wrote:

it can also sterilize the soil so you won't be able to plant anything. furthermore, when it rains, everything downhill may also go.
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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 12:42:29 -0600, homeowner wrote:

I did do the research! :)
This scientific site says it lasts 100 years! http://online.sfsu.edu/bholzman/courses/Fall01%20projects/poisonoakfinalwebsite.htm Here's the verbatim quote from that San Francisco State web site: "What is amazing is specimens 100 years old have been known to cause dermatitis in humans, because urushiol is a relatively stable compound, and can remain potent for years in the absence of oxidation (Armstrong & Epstein 1995)."
I would think that, outdoors, exposed to the elements, the urushiol would only be allergenic to humans for something on the order of perhaps only 5 or 10 years, but, the point is that the oil from Toxicodendron diversilobum will last far longer than we'd like it to.
The verbatim statement from that web site below leads me to conjure the thought that this single plant on my property can infect every single person on earth, since it was literally dripping drops of sap within a few minutes of cutting the plant! "Urushiol is so incredibly toxic that it would take only one ounce of it to affect everyone on the earth with a rash (Brooks 2001)."
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On 1/8/2013 1:43 PM, Danny D. wrote:

careful, wmd searchers are currently on the way. watch for the black helicopters.
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On 01-08-2013 15:43, Danny D. wrote:

There are other opinions. One source suggested that 15% are unaffected; another said thirty.
I reacted severely from what was in the air when I got close to it when we first moved to Oregon. But a few years later, I could pick it without gloves and have little or no reaction. Other people who drank goat's milk reported similar experiences. We believe the milk either contains an antidote, or it contains traces of urushiol so small your body has a chance to develop a defense.
But it might be something else entirely. I do think I have a strong immune system, as I never react to a smallpox vaccine. Since I had no scar, the Navy accused me of lying and vaccinated me again. And again, even though the second one (the first Navy one) was documented in my official records.
Unfortunately, my immune system is now attacking my thyroid glands.
--
Wes Groleau

There ain't no right wing,
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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 23:58:18 -0500, Wes Groleau wrote:

We're talking different things, so let's clarify. :)
1. Nobody is immune to type IV CMI 2. But not everybody gets the rash under normal circumstances 3. Yet, almost everyone will get the rash if they get exposed to enough urushiol.
It gets complicated to explain in a USENET post, but let's briefly take these in turn - but this isn't the place for detailed discussions.
I. Nobody is immune. Delayed contact dermititis is a type IV CMI (cell mediated immune response), which nobody is immune to forever. Get exposed frequently enough, and you WILL get it. It's the way your body works.
II. Not every gets the rash all the time This is highly dependent on dosage! Remember the oil is NOT anywhere on the outside of the plant! The oil is protectively ensconced INSIDE the cells. Of course, chain sawing the plant in half tends to allow the oils to leak out ... like this video I just took today of just that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYcJslc6ymE

III. Give any human enough pure urushiol, and they ALL will get the rash! (See #I and #II above.)
Anyway, while we're quoting figures, Wikipedia says the following on percentages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urushiol-induced_contact_dermatitis
Verbatim: "Approximately 80% to 90% of adults will get a rash if they are exposed to 50 micrograms of purified urushiol. Some people are so sensitive, it only takes a trace of urushiol (two micrograms or less than one ten- millionth of an ounce) on the skin to initiate an allergic reaction (Epstein et al., 1974).[6]"
Now, if you're exposed to less urushiol, all bets are off - but - given this picture below, I would safely say anyone exposed to this much potential urushiol had better take some safety precautions (as I do). :)

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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 23:58:18 -0500, Wes Groleau wrote:

Hi Wes,
That is an interesting story - but I would caution anyone from actually touching the stuff because of the classic YMMV difference in every situation.
The funny thing about invisible toxins is that we really don't know exactly where the stuff is, and where it isn't.
For example, look at my red sweatshirt & TIG welding gloves today:

Notice I had no idea exactly WHERE the urushiol was, on Sunday, when I last wore them, but today, two days later, the oil on the gloves was sufficiently oxidized black to see it and the shirt oils were oxidized in the washing machine.
The point is - you never know if you've been truly exposed or not, as it's a statistical thing. So, a LOT of people conclude they were exposed and didn't get the rash - when - in reality - they just weren't exposed (or not exposed to enough to make black marks all over their clothes).
When I was in graduate school, I worked part time in a lab, and you'd be amazed at the strangest places we found P32 with the geiger counter. You can't see it - and when you find out where it got - you sit there and ponder how the hell did it get there.
Now, maybe the goats milk matters - because the immune system DOES work the way you said it does (i.e., when exposed at the right time in the immune system development, the immune system learns what is body and what is foreign) - so I am NOT saying you're wrong ... I'm just cautioning anyone from actually touching the stuff with bare hands on purpose!
:)
Urushiol is no different. You didn't get it from "the air". You touched something that had a pinprick drop of oil on it. What you touched could have been 'anything' (remember, the oil is known to remain infectious for 100 years ... in a laboratory drawer anyway).
The other thing to remember is that the oil is NOT on the outside of the plant. Not outside the leaves, stem, berries, or root. But it's inside all of them, so, you (and I) can pick it up (gingerly) and nothing bad will happen.
But, when you do this ... now you've gotten that damn plant mad! :)
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On 01-09-2013 01:05, Danny D. wrote:

TRUE--but many accidental exposures had appeared to confirm the goat's milk hypothesis. So, being young and foolish, I assumed I was immune and abandoned precautions. And got away with it.
When it was my son's turn to be young and foolish, he formed the hypothesis that he could immunize himself by limited contact. If you know where to look, you can still make out the scars.
> The other thing to remember is that the oil is NOT on the outside > of the plant. Not outside the leaves, stem, berries, or root. But > it's inside all of them, so, you (and I) can pick it up (gingerly) > and nothing bad will happen.
Ah, I would question that as well. Before my resistance developed, the slightest contact had severe effects.
By the way, some of that resistance has gone away over time.
--
Wes Groleau

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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 08:44:32 -0800, TimR wrote:

Oh yes. Very very very sure!
I have cut human-sized tunnels through poison oak, where the urushiol literally drips like a faucet overhead from the wrist-sized hangers.
The leaves-of-three are distinctive, and are not wild raspberries (whose leaves look similar but are furry & spiny). The white berries are also distinctive, as are the tendrils all over the place.
Of course, the fact that the rash is starting to show up at my wrists, ankles and neck from my weekend work is yet another clue - but - yes, there is absolutely no doubt what it is.
The problem isn't identifying it - the problem is getting rid of it without actually getting it!
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Did you mark the bins so the disposal guys will be aware of the danger?
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I remember reading that Danny did mark the bins. And the trash pickup guys refused the bins.
Just imagine the pickup guys coming down with wicked poison oak, and not knowing why.
Can we donate that stuff to the military, and they can spray it on the enemy a couple days before ground invasions? Just think if we sprayed Mogadishu before the "Blackhawk Down" invasion that went so badly wrong. All those skinnies home, itching instead of shooting at the Rangers.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Did you mark the bins so the disposal guys will be aware of the danger?
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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 14:00:50 -0800, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Actually, I had put a sign in Spanish & English on the green recycling bins, but, then I called the waste management company to warn them, and they told me they won't pick them up because they are a toxic waste biohazard!

So, I ended up wistfully pulling all the mutilated Pacific Poison Oak vines back OUT of the bins (which probably exposed me to more than chainsawing them did!) ... and I carried the bleeding-black vines deeper into the chaparral for safety sake, cursing the day I ever got the bright idea of putting them into the recycling bins in the first place!
Lesson learned, the hard way!
Note: In the picture above, the black ring is a ring of oxidized urushiol, which weeped clear, but then oxidized to a black laquer since Sunday.
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They make cutters that mount on excavators look here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX66xyk0InQ

After you get it cleared you'll want to keep it sprayed until it quits regrowing.
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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 20:01:52 -0800, Pat wrote:

I WISH I had an excavator/cutter like that one!
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On Wed, 9 Jan 2013 06:15:46 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

There are similar cutters that mount on small tractors, that's how roadway shoulders are cleared of heavy brush... they're called "flail mowers". From your pictures it appears one could easily clear your property down to stumps with a small tractor with a cab (for protection) and a brush hog... my set up can clear your property an acre an hour. Once cut treat the stubs with defolient, I'd use a hand sprayer.
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On Wed, 09 Jan 2013 11:29:22 -0500, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Understood. They clear the roads out here all the time with a five foot wide cutter than arcs high and can get behind the guardrails (banging them up in the process).
That WOULD work for the part that I just cleared, but not for the part deep down in the ravine 100 feet below (which is inaccessible to tractors AFAIK).
Probably not in my budget though. :(
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"Danny D." wrote:

You don't need to buy, you can rent. But I were you I'd contract with a local land clearing company... since it appears that you really need to get the job done it pays to have the pros do it... they have the equipment and the know how. Often attempting such jobs oneself the cheap turns out expensive. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out having the pros do it doesn't cost as much as you may think. Get some estimates, that's also a great way to learn some good ways to approach your problem from folks who actually know. I know that it can be very tough on certain people's egos but there are some jobs one shouldn't do themselves, from what I can see I think this is such a job. Were it my property I'd have the company that removes trees for me do that job, they'd arrive with a small crew (maybe four men), in no time all that heavy brush would go into their heavy shredder, it would get trucked to a dump site. Then they'd come in and till and power rake your entire field. In practically no time all your problems would be over and you'd have nice fresh land to do with as you will. I don't remember seeing where you mention how much land is involved (acres?), I'm guestimating from your pictures that job will cost you about $1,000, well worth it. Jobs like yours are almost all labor, there are no materials involved like when putting in a gravel roadway... only material for your job is like $100 diesel. Either of these companys can do your job, I've used both several times each, both are very reliable and honest. If all you want is to remove the brush contact LB, if you want to remove the brush and totally improve the topography contact Maggio: http://www.maggioandsons.com / http://lbtreeservice.com/index.htm
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A excavator can work a steep slope with a second rig on top with a winch. A tow truck can be used.
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