Saturday, December 28, 2013

Redneck Weed Control

I tried an experiment today.  I'll let you know if it was successful.

You see, I'm very allergic to poison ivy.  I hate the stuff.  This time of year, it has no leaves, but you can still recognize the "trunk" of the vine.  The big vines look hairy.  Even in the winter, contact with these vines can cause severe outbreaks, so I try to stay away from them.

Unfortunately, these vines are all over my farm.  As I walk through the woods, I cringe when I see them.  At least they don't have any leaves right now.  And so winter is the best time to kill the stuff.  I searched the internet for ways of killing poison ivy in winter. One clip was helpful--it showed a guy using long handled clippers to sever the vine.  You don't want to use a saw or axe or machete, because these will cause the evil urushiol poison to spray out from the vine.

Clippers would work fine for small vines, but I've got some vines bigger than my forearm.  Clippers would never get through these suckers.  So, I had to think of a way to cut the vine without getting sprayed with the poison.

So here's my experiment.  I took my 12 gauge Remington semi-automatic shot gun and used it as a primitive saw.  From a safe distance--at least I hope it was safe--I fired away at these nasty vines, as close to the root as possible.  Some vines were so thick, it took a dozen shots to blow them in two.  White wooden bits of terror flew everywhere, but not near me.

In the spring when these vines sprout from their stumps, I'll hit them with Roundup to finish the job.  It's not cheap to fire so many rounds at these vines, but I'll be glad to get rid of them.

In a few days I'll know if I stood at a safe distance.  I'm itching to find out.

Epilogue:  No rash from the vine blasts!  Oh yeah, I need some more 12 gauge shells.  There are dozens more of these evil vines to kill.

Photo: Watch out, poison ivy vines...I've got a shotgun, and you ain't got one.