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Poison oak

Poison Oak

poison oak
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California Hiker

Toxicodendron diversilobum (syn. Rhus diversiloba), commonly named Pacific poison oak or western poison oak, is a woody vine or shrub in the sumac family, Anacardiaceae.

leaves of 3, let them be

The boy scout chant is clear & easy to remember. The small oak leaves grow in set of three on a stem. If you're not sure, then stay away from it anyway, just to err on the side of caution.

"poison ivy" is not found on the US west coast.

CALIFORNIA POISON OAK: It can make your best campout or day hike turn into a total nightmare.

Know what this stuff looks like in both colors & stay away from it. Spring is bright green, summer shiny leaves, but by late summer they are starting to turn red & slightly brownish-orangish. Wintering not-quite-dead stems can still be quite oily, so avoid rolling around in the ground cover.

beware of poison oak

  • growing wild in abundance all over California, canyons, foothills, under 5000' elevation
  • hike/bike in pants and avoid overgrown trails
  • oils can spread from clothes to skin with indirect contamination
  • if scratched, the oils spread to fingers and hands
  • keep hands away from eyes, face & nose
  • do not burn this plant (leaves or vines) for any reason

Be very aware of hanging clothing and jackets sleeves. Determine what part of the clothing touched bushes, and fold clothing up carefully (contaminated side inward) and place in a bag for laundering. Make sure not to pull off contaminated pant legs & touch fabric that is coated with the oils.

poison oak retirement party

Oak poisoned


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