Climate change to “supercharge” poison ivy (and poison oak, poison sumac)
Jul 20, 2021 at 10:36 pm #3722619Rex SandersBPL Member
This Grist article describes how poison ivy responds to climate change:
– More CO2 makes the plants grow much bigger, with more urushiol, the skin-toxic oil
– Warmer soils make the plants grow much faster
– Human-disturbed areas, including trails like the AT, are preferred habitat. “It’s not very prevalent in the middle of the forest.” Bigger and more intense wildfires means more poison ivy.
And before Westerners and others start gloating: poison oak and poison sumac (thunderwood) are closely related to poison ivy. I have no doubt those plants will get supercharged by global weirding, too.
— RexJul 21, 2021 at 1:07 pm #3722679HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: The West is (still) the Best
If that starts happening I can see more hikers trading in shorts for “vented” long pants. Many already wear long sleeves, sun gloves, sunglasses, etc.. and with all the knee “braces”, long socks, and other add ons… may as well just get used to long pants.
Caution would be needed until said clothing could be laundered however.Jul 21, 2021 at 2:42 pm #3722702MarcusBPL Member
Stupid global warming. Why can’t bees or desirable fish benefit from warming?
Good point about the pants. I started hiking in Rail Riders Bone Flats pants in hot weather (2 mesh vents per leg) or EcoMesh pants with insect shield in moderate weather (1 vent per leg that can be zipped closed) in large part to protect my legs from poison oak, which is particularly sneaky in the winter when it has no leaves but the vine is still poisonous.
in CT/MA/east coast I saw poison ivy vines so large I didnt immediately identify them as poison ivy (>4″ diameter trunks and branches extending over 8′ horizontally) ! I can only imagine how big they will get in the future!Jul 21, 2021 at 3:30 pm #3722704Rex SandersBPL Member
Long pants and shirts can help you avoid direct exposure. But I’ve gotten some pretty gnarly cases in unexpected places from indirect exposure – plant to clothing or dog to me.
After decades of hiking in prime poison oak territory, I subconsciously stay clear most of the time. Frequently perform the trail limbo with no audience, but that’s getting old (I’m not!). Thinking I might pick up an easily-cleaned walking staff to push away overhanging branches and leaves.
— RexJul 21, 2021 at 9:19 pm #3722727obx hikerBPL Member
There’s plenty of ‘healthy’ poison ivy out west already. Off the top of my head ever been to Monarch Cave in Comb Ridge in SE Utah? There’s a big pour-off left of the photo into a permanent big plunge pool and home of the mother of all poison ivy vines.Jul 22, 2021 at 8:00 am #3722738Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
how about ticks?
they’re probably supercharged by global warmingAug 5, 2021 at 7:44 pm #3724000Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I was 8.
The doctor said, “This is the worst case of poison I’ve ever seen.”
My mother said, “I guess this will teach your not to wipe with poison ivy when you crap in the woods!”
Me: (not a peep)
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