Poison Oak

If you plan to attend the Wine Country Safari event, you should learn to recognize Poison Oak.

While exposure to Poison Oak is not life-threatening, it will make you extremely uncomfortable. Symptoms are often present for up to three weeks. Most of the time an over-the-counter remedy is all that is required but you may need a Doctor to prescribe an antihistamine. Calamine Lotion sold 0ver-the-counter will dry out the blisters and reduce the itching.

Poison Oak is the western form of Poison Ivy. There is little difference between them other than Poison Oak has a leaf with toothed edges. Poison Oak and Poison Ivy have clusters of 3 leaves (vary rarely clusters of 5) and glossy leaves. In the center of this picture you can see poison oak. Notice how glossy it is and count the groupings of leaves. Each node has 3 leaves. Notice how it stands out from the other plants.

This is another plant that is growing at the base of the tree.

Compare the prior two pictures to this of a non poisonous plant that is common to the area. It also appears to have clusters of 3 leaves. Look closely and you will see that each one has its own stem and they are farther apart. The leaves do not have the glossy appearance.

I hope to see you on the trails!

Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc
4-Wheel Drive School
Make it Fun. Make it Safe.


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