What Does 7 Tons of Poison Ivy Look Like?

In our last post, I mentioned that we pulled out over 7 tons of Poison Ivy in the 2015 season. That’s not including all the other invasives that we took out. What does 7 tons of PI look like? And what did we do with it all? First, let’s see what 7 tons gets you.

Seals weigh about 3 ½ tons
Seals weigh about 3 ½ tons
We pulled out more Poison Ivy than this military truck weighs!
We pulled out more Poison Ivy than this military truck weighs!

One full grown elephant weighs about 7 tons, or 7 cows; or 3 full grown bulls and a cow standing together could equal about 7 tons! 2 fat seals, or a teenage blue whale would equal the weight of the Poison ivy we took out last year. Or a fully loaded military truck would even up the scale… well you get the idea.

I don’t know what 7 tons of Poison Ivy would look like all piled up because we take it different places.

If there’s not a lot, we’ll bag it up in big black construction bags and take it away or leave it with your household garbage for pick up. Bigger jobs require a lot more effort. How we get rid of it has been evolving over the last 7 years as we have grown rapidly and produced much more Poison Ivy debris.

Free lunch for the goats!
Free lunch for the goats!

We tried feeding it to a client’s goats who eat anything. And they love Poison Ivy! But not the branches or thick hairy vines. They go right for the leaves and if they don’t get to all of it right away, the rest of the pile gets left behind. They wouldn’t be able to keep up with 7 tons anyway.

We usually load it onto the truck and take it to a transfer station. There are only 3 or 4 locations remaining in Ulster County, and none in Dutchess. We lost 2 last year. Woodstock stopped taking yard waste completely and New Paltz won’t let us drop off there anymore. They turn their yard waste into compost and sell it to their residents. They didn’t want us contaminating their compost. I totally get that! So they gave us a special spot up on a granite hill to dump our PI debris. They finally told me they didn’t want us coming back again because we were filling up the hill and that stuff wasn’t going anywhere sitting on that rock. I didn’t take it personally.

Many of our clients have some woods behind their house and we can just drag it out there to let it die. Roots don’t like air and they will die in a day or two. We don’t pile it up because that would allow the roots at the bottom of the pile to get all cozy and moist and they might sprout. We spread it out so everything gets nice and dry. Even though it’s dead, you can still get contaminated from this pile until it decays back into the earth. So we choose a place where you won’t be walking.

Ready for another run to the dump!
Ready for another run to the dump!

Someday, someone may find that extract of Poison Ivy is a useful cure for cancer or something and will wonder how to find a whole bunch of it. We can supply them with as much as they want!