A warning about poison oak in the Canyon
I was emailing with Murray Schneider, who writes about the Canyon on the Glen Park News blog, and he warned me that there’s a lot of poison oak out right now.
In fact his exact words where “Where isn’t there poison oak?”
He suggests staying on the trails to avoid it.
“Anything off trail, particularly high up amidst the California coastal scrub you’ll find it intermingled with plants and grasses. It also can appear on or around rock outcroppings. I’ve seen near the trails beyond the new Saddle Trail steps, on the way up to Turquoise Way, in Fox Meadow and near the Angelica rocks.”
He’s also been told it’s growing among the Cape ivy above Glenridge.
Poison oak “follows Himalayan and California blackberry close to trail edges, so tell people to avoid brushing against plants immediately adjacent to trail edges.”
“It looks like California blackberry, three leaves together. But it much more glossy and oily and it doesn’t have little thorns such as blackberry does. Right now it is really shiny!!”
Ashley Hathaway notes that is is very easy for dogs to get it on their coats while wandering in the canyon and then people get it from their dogs when they pet and brush them.
When it hasn’t leaved out “it huddles together in clumps of naked “sticks.” The stalks looks benign, but if one touches the “sticks,” which still contain harmful oils, one can get burned.”
Murray’s had some nasty experiences with it working in the canyon and recommends washing clothing that’s come into contact with it and to immediately bath with a product such as Tecnu, which can be purchased at REI. Ashley notes that it’s also available at Walgreen’s and many other large pharmacies in the area.
The best advice: “Stay on trail!”