good news for Poison Oak lovers

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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Chip Down
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good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by Chip Down » April 14th, 2018, 10:46 pm

Today I spotted the first leaves of the season. Lovely clusters of crimson. Get out there and enjoy it before it all fades to a boring shade of green.
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klossner
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Re: good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by klossner » April 16th, 2018, 3:58 pm

At least now it's visible. Last month I wandered into some poison oak that had no foliage.

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adamschneider
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Re: good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by adamschneider » April 16th, 2018, 5:01 pm

It can be kind of pretty when back-lit.

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(This was last week in Rowena Dell.)

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Chip Down
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Re: good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by Chip Down » April 21st, 2018, 11:01 am

Damn, it got me. (Which is a strange choice of phrase, considering it was just standing there minding its own business when I came along and brushed against it.)

Same as my previous exposures: wrist. Or actually wrists, both of them this time. Starting to blister.

So when I went out Thursday I took extreme measures. I fashioned wrist gaskets from an old pair of socks. Good thing I did; I encountered the worst PO I've ever seen. The only uncovered skin was my face.

Adam, nice pic!

Incidentally, I saw some in rocky mossy grassy meadowy spots, the kind of place where normally one can relax and not worry about it. Ticks too. I remember the good old days when my only hiking nemesis was mosquitoes.

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Bosterson
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Re: good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by Bosterson » April 22nd, 2018, 11:14 am

adamschneider wrote:
April 16th, 2018, 5:01 pm
It can be kind of pretty when back-lit.
Does it have a fruiting/flowering body? Or is the woody poison oak on the east/Washington side a different species from the fluffy greener stuff you get on our side of the river?

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Will hike off trail for fun.

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Re: good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by adamschneider » April 22nd, 2018, 2:34 pm

Bosterson wrote:
April 22nd, 2018, 11:14 am
Does it have a fruiting/flowering body? Or is the woody poison oak on the east/Washington side a different species from the fluffy greener stuff you get on our side of the river?
There's only one species, but it can be variable in habit. In the shade, it's less likely to flower and more likely to grow as a ground cover or a vine.

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bobcat
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Re: good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by bobcat » April 22nd, 2018, 4:32 pm

There is a second species, Toxicodendron rydbergii, which is found in eastern Oregon/Washington beginning at about The Dalles. This is the one that will anoint you with an itchy blush if you are climbing at Horsethief Butte, for example.

As Adam states, our species, Toxicodendron diversilobum, is an extremely variable plant that ranges from straggly understory shrublets to 40-foot climbing vines to dense clumps out in the open benches of the east Gorge (It's T. diversilobum in all three pictures in this thread). Curiously, T. rydbergii is absent from California and a few other states, while T. diversilobum is described as California's most common woody shrub (Wikipedia). Another reason not to move there.

I was on a casual walk today, and my companions kept freaking out at the baby Oregon white oaks leafing out. People often mistake the two since they are often found together. I delight in rubbing the white oak leaves against my face and arms - "See, it can't harm you . . . "

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Re: good news for Poison Oak lovers

Post by adamschneider » April 22nd, 2018, 8:06 pm

bobcat wrote:
April 22nd, 2018, 4:32 pm
There is a second species, Toxicodendron rydbergii, which is found in eastern Oregon/Washington beginning at about The Dalles.
Except that one is called western poison-ivy, and it looks quite a bit different. Still with the three leaflets though.

I didn't know it grew as far west as Horsethief Butte; I thought I'd seen poison-oak there. Could they be co-existing? (Or maybe I saw it before I knew that poison-ivy was a thing out there, and just assumed it was p-o.)

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