How to identify poison ivy and poison oak
How to identify poison ivy and poison oak

With summer finally here, Pokemon Go bringing out incredible numbers of people, and school season over and children playing outdoors everywhere, now is one of the most dangerous times to run into a patch of poison ivy or poison oak. For many going out into the woods, it is imperative that you be vigilant about the issue so you can avoid days of painful scratching.

Whether that bush is perfectly fine to jump over, or entirely dangerous to the body is often incredibly hard to differentiate for many at first. Knowing the difference between the two could be huge for anyone, and avoid many potential disasters. Let’s start with the basics. First, what do these two plants look like?

Poison ivy is most recognizable for its pointed green leaves, most often split into groups of three. These leaves can change to orange or red as well. You can distinguish poison ivy easily from this coloration, this shape, and this displacement of leaves. Three is a no-no.

Poison oak is most recognizable for its vine or shrub formation, and as well it sports clusters of three leaves, however for poison oak these leaves are rounded trios instead.

To better prepare yourself and memorize the process for spotting these potential dangers, it’s best to remember some form of the adage, “leaves of three, beware of me”. While this isn’t always accurate, this policy will certainly help you avoid some nasty itchy remnants of your time outdoors.