June 12, 2011

Our Treeline...A LOVE/HATE relationsip

Our tree line. It is not very big, but for our children it is a magical place filled with fairies and hideouts.  It is one of the things I LOVE about our property. It is also one of the things I HATE.

Hate the treeline?? Yes. Especially when it causes my daughter to develop a rash so bad that her eyes swell shut and we have to rush her to Emergency.  How does a beautiful tree line do this you ask?? 

Simple.  Poisonous plants in ABUNDANCE.

This is poisonous parsnip in its first year. The effects of this nasty plant are similar to poison Ivy. The difference is that when the oil touches your skin and your skin is exposed to sunlight, it is as though your skin has no barrier whatsoever to the UV rays and so you get a nasty nasty bubbling burn.  This is what Adam rubbed up against 2 summers ago. We thought we pulled most of it out, but apparently it will take a few years because we pull all the seedlings.
The doctors at the hospital seem to think that Erin has poison Ivy and NOT parsnip, so I went in search of it in the tree line.  After looking at hundreds of pictures on the Internet and comparing them I THINK I have found it.
I had NO IDEA that poison Ivy could grow into vines or tall bushes. I always thought it was low to the ground.
Here is a great shot of what I THINK is a mature poison Ivy Plant.It has the classic pointy 3 leaf groupings and the flowers.
Here are a few other pictures I found...

I'm pretty sure this last picture is right. I'm not positive about the few before. There are just so many plants out there and in the forest. Feel free to tell me if you think I'm right or wrong.

What to know the REALLY FUNNY (well not really) part of all of this??? 

I spent 8 years in the Ontario forests as an Army Cadet, Reservist, and Regular Force Medic.  I have treated A LOT of Poison Ivy and have been 'trained' on how to spot it. For some reason I need to look it up every year and never saw it in our tree line the 4 summers we have lived here.

Apparently the new hideout my girls created at the opposite end of the treeline this year was/is pretty much covered by it.

New lesson...If it comes in 3 let it be. 


LaughingLady said...

I find that whole "3-leaf" thing to be frustrating information, because so MANY plants fit that description!! (particularly in their early formation stages) Those pictures look like many saplings in our tree line that are definitely NOT poison ivy!

I think the worst thing we have is a few stinging nettles, but that's certainly nothing compared to what you obviously have. I've never even HEARD of poison parsnips!

LaughingLady said...

(I thought you were going to say the thing you hated about it was woodticks! That's my biggest complaint about my girls playing in ours in spring/early summer.)

Carey said...

I hope your daughter feels better. Ive never heard of poison parsnip. I wish I could be of help with the plants, but I really dont know what it looks like. Growing up in Connecticut we had poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. But here in New York, I havent seen any of it. So it has been a long time. Is pulling it out the only way to get rid of it? I hope no one else gets it.

anita said...

Our kids took the Junior Naturalist course when they were small. It was offered by a University student at Mallorytown Landing. She showed the kids poison ivy, said,"Stay clear of this plant, boys and girls." Our then 4 year old Jon gave her a funny look and said,"Why can't we touch wild strawberries?" (He was right.)