Poison Oak/Ivy and Firewood

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Jan 25, 2010
82
Placer Co. CA
I just dragged some black oak through some poison oak. Cut it into 3' or so sections, tossed it into the back of the SUV, took it home and cut it to size. The rounds are just sitting in the driveway awaiting their meeting and doom with the maul.

There wasn't that much poison oak, but I know this wood touched it. I've read that the oil of poison oak (ivy etc (same oil)) will last a year or so on things. Tools etc.

So I'm going to soak my tow chain and tow strap in a bucket of hot soapy water and let them air dry afterwards. Can't do anything about the SUV insides, my gloves (not sure if I can wash deer skin), and my chainsaw (will wipe it down). I was pretty cautious not to come into direct contact with the wood. And there really wasn't THAT much poison oak.

Anyone have any experience with this? Ivy is the same so that works too. After I get this split and stacked I can't imagine there being an issue of kids touching it and getting poison oak from it. Also it won't be burned probably for a year or two if I can help it.

I've never got a rash (yet - heard one's immunity can change at any time). Found this Facts PDF file to be interesting:

PDF from University of Oregon

Any concerns? Just don't want the kids to play with or on the rounds, splits, tools and get a rash. Thanks!
 

shawneyboy

Minister of Fire
Oct 5, 2010
1,592
NE PA
I know of people who have gotten PI from their spouses dirty clothes. Yep you heard me, hubby works on tree, and gets some PI oil on his clothes, wifey washes them, then washes her clothes, the oil gets in the washing machine, and gets transfered to her clothes. She is VERY sensitive to PI he is nearly immune. She got PI and bad from the transfer. It can/does last a while. I would keep kids away for sure.

Shawn
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Most times I don't worry about the stuff. WE have at times though taken an axe and sliced poison ivy vines off the tree after it is felled. I don't always get it all but don't worry about it. Just ask rdust about that one! He found some poison ivy when we were loading some wood. He did not like that stuff at all.
 

-PB-

New Member
Feb 28, 2010
172
MD via Philly
Wiping tools down with bleach has always worked well for me. It's my understanding some peolpe dont get a rash at all, others are so sensitive they get it when the wind blows fresh cut poison ivy.
 

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,528
Michigan
Backwoods Savage said:
Most times I don't worry about the stuff. WE have at times though taken an axe and sliced poison ivy vines off the tree after it is felled. I don't always get it all but don't worry about it. Just ask rdust about that one! He found some poison ivy when we were loading some wood. He did not like that stuff at all.
Dennis always loves to bring this up! :lol: As Dennis said, I freak out when I'm around it, PI does not like me and I don't like it.

Brake Clean is good for spraying/wiping down tools. I'd personally toss the gloves and wash all the clothes involved a couple times. I've heard a lot of good things about a product called Tecnu but have never used it. I've learned to stay away from it after several bad experiences.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
I put gloves on and pull the vine off the tree if it will come off. If not I don't worry about it. I usually get it a little once a year. I then scratch it a little wipe it down with a bleach cottonball
and it's gone, don't get it again for another year. My kids arn't supposed to be climbing on my wood piles, so if they get it from that I guess that's what they get. Just cut a tree today that was loaded with it. I don't wipe my saw off or anything and I've never give it to my family threw clothes but anything is possible
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
Big thing is when you cut it, guess what happens when you saw through it.....I know, no better way to spread it be careful! (gets me every-time) And anyone with in 100 foot.
 

Wood Heat Stoves

Minister of Fire
I'm near you and my property is covered with poison oak. I've been standing knee deep in it cutting wood. I've never gotten poison oak from handling it but I wear long pants and wash very well after I get back in the house. I had one bad experience, though. I was cutting with the chain saw and cut through a patch of poison oak. It vaporized the stuff and sent it into my face. I got a very bad case on my face and now I'm VERY careful not to hit any with my chain saw.
 

pastera

Feeling the Heat
Sep 8, 2008
336
SE Mass
rdust said:
Backwoods Savage said:
Most times I don't worry about the stuff. WE have at times though taken an axe and sliced poison ivy vines off the tree after it is felled. I don't always get it all but don't worry about it. Just ask rdust about that one! He found some poison ivy when we were loading some wood. He did not like that stuff at all.
Dennis always loves to bring this up! :lol: As Dennis said, I freak out when I'm around it, PI does not like me and I don't like it.

Brake Clean is good for spraying/wiping down tools. I'd personally toss the gloves and wash all the clothes involved a couple times. I've heard a lot of good things about a product called Tecnu but have never used it. I've learned to stay away from it after several bad experiences.
Tecnu works - end of story

If you are sensitive (I break out if I'm in the same ZIP code) then you can lesson the duration and severity by using it.
The cat brings it in on her fur all the time and my daughter gets it from her - from crusty nasty to slightly red in two-three days.

Aaron
 

lukem

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2010
3,668
Indiana
PI smoke is the worst of all. I used to be realy sensitive to PI...I got it bad, and I mean BAD, one time from a burning brush pile. Had to get a bunch os steroid shots. Even since then I only get a touch of a rash if my skin comes in direct contact...sometimes no reaction at all.

Before that, gloves went in the trash, and clothes got washed in a seperate load twice. Never really washed down the tools, but in all honesty I would pass on PI covered wood.

Depends on your sensitivity, but from you've described sounds like minimal exposure.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
I was running the chain saw up and down the sides of the tree today to remove the poison ivy had a few pieces hit me in the face :eek:hh: No itching yet. I had a slight rash from it earlier this spring so I think I'm good to go. My brother has never got it and is 42 years old.
 

Spikem

Feeling the Heat
Nov 2, 2008
251
Middleboro, MA, USA
woodsmaster said:
I put gloves on and pull the vine off the tree if it will come off. If not I don't worry about it. I usually get it a little once a year. I then scratch it a little wipe it down with a bleach cottonball
and it's gone, don't get it again for another year. My kids arn't supposed to be climbing on my wood piles, so if they get it from that I guess that's what they get. Just cut a tree today that was loaded with it. I don't wipe my saw off or anything and I've never give it to my family threw clothes but anything is possible
So what do you do with the wood? Do you just get rid of it? Can it be burned (eventually)?
 

golfandwoodnut

Minister of Fire
I just got it yesterday, it is a bad rash but I do not itch as bad as I used too. My wife cannot be anywhere near it, she ends up having to get predisone (a steroid). When I get it then I am not permitted near her, even though I hear you cannot transfer from a person, she will not believe it. I kind of forgot to tell her I had it this morning... :p

As far as burning, I would definetly burn it. You might wear gloves if you are nervous.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
We burn wood with some ivy on it and have never had a problem.
 

Spikem

Feeling the Heat
Nov 2, 2008
251
Middleboro, MA, USA
For the burning of it, I'm worried about the inhalation of the smoke. Very, very dangerous from what I'm told.
 
Jan 25, 2010
82
Placer Co. CA
Thanks for the replies folks. It was pretty minor poison oak here and there, I did drag the logs through it. I never got a rash, but I was careful. My main concern was the tools (tow chain, strap, chainsaw, gloves). I washed my clothes and wore rubber boots over just to be cautious. Not overly worried about it. Slightly worried about picking up a split or having the kids play w/ the rounds a bit. I'll try and get them to my processing location quickly. I did find out my deerskin gloves were hand washable, we'll see how that works out. :)
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Yes it can be dangerous. I had PI only one time in my life and got it from smoke. However, it has never bothered me by burning in the stove. I quit worrying about it years ago as it was back around 1970 when I burned some of it outdoors and got the PI. I've cut through a lot of it while cutting wood and it doesn't bother me there either.

quercus, if you are worried about the tools, I'd probably pour some bleach on them as that should take care of that problem. On the deerskin gloves, yes, they can be washed and you can also use saddle soap on them. I'd still suggest putting them on a few times while they are drying. Something like Lexol should work if they do come out a bit stiff as the lexol should soften them. I'd put it on lightly though and you can always test a small area to make sure it does not discolor the glove. It will discolor a bit as you put it on just because of it being wet but I think it will turn back to the original color when dry. Good luck.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
Spikem said:
woodsmaster said:
I put gloves on and pull the vine off the tree if it will come off. If not I don't worry about it. I usually get it a little once a year. I then scratch it a little wipe it down with a bleach cottonball
and it's gone, don't get it again for another year. My kids arn't supposed to be climbing on my wood piles, so if they get it from that I guess that's what they get. Just cut a tree today that was loaded with it. I don't wipe my saw off or anything and I've never give it to my family threw clothes but anything is possible
So what do you do with the wood? Do you just get rid of it? Can it be burned (eventually)?
Yes I burn it. I brought it home and split it and will burn it this winter.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,974
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Spikem said:
For the burning of it, I'm worried about the inhalation of the smoke. Very, very dangerous from what I'm told.
Yup, Assistant Fire Chief several years ago breathed in some poison ivy in the smoke from burning some debris along a stone wall . . . irritated his throat so bad that he had to see a doctor to get something for it as his whole throat was inflamed.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Jake, I've always thought it strange that the one and only time I got poison ivy was when we burned some on a brush pile. Yet, it has never bothered me burning in the stove and I know I was in some smoke from the stove after I loaded some in it one time. I did not break out at all. Also, the one time I had it, I did not get any in the lungs. Strange but I have no answers why.
 

muncybob

Minister of Fire
Apr 8, 2008
2,138
Near Williamsport, PA
We are infested with PI around here....fortunatley I am far enough ahead on my wood supply that before I fell the trees I can cut the vines with my loppers and let them alone for a few months. Once they are dead and dried out it's easy to pull the vines off and down come the tree or I'll remove enough of the vine on the lower trunk that allows me to fell the tree and then the vine comes off before bucking.

I am VERY allergic to the stuff so I take lots of precautions! Heck, I'm sitting here itching just talking about it.
 
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