Experts indicate three ways to control poison oak or ivy on your property . Pull or dig out the entire plant, graze goats in infested areas, or use chemical control. Burning is not recommended as inhaling dust and ash from the smoke can result in poisoning of the lungs and that can require hospitalization. Burning also does not kill the plant.
To hand pull or dig poison oak, careful precautions must be used. People with known sensitivities should not attempt hand pulling. Wear protective clothing and gloves even if you are less sensitive to the sap.
Pull plants when the soil is wet and loose. Make sure to remove all roots of the plant. Cut all vines growing up trees. Pull as much of the vine away from the tree as possible. Mowing has little effect unless mowing is repeated frequently.
Grazing animals will only keep poison oak or ivy at bay if it is continued consistently for several years.
Chemical control options include spraying the leaves with brush killer in the late spring or early summer after the plants are in full leaf (you need to be doing it now). Spray only according to label directions on a calm day. Selective herbicides can remove poison oak and ivy without killing grass, but those herbicides can damage valuable plants such as ornamentals. Use care.