Poison ivy can be an erect woody shrub or a climbing vine. The leaves alternate on red stems. They are glossy and have 3 leaflets 2 - 3 inches long that can be smooth or toothed; leaves turn red in the autumn. As with other members of the Rhus family (poison oak and poison sumac), poison ivy can cause severe skin irritation.
Young poison ivy plants less than a foot tall with only a single stem can be physically removed with little difficulty, especially in the spring when the ground is soft. Gloves should be worn to avoid allergic reaction. No part of the plant should contact skin. Burning is dangerous.
Poison ivy rarely infests mowed turfgrass areas, but could become a problem in infrequently mowed golf course roughs, as well as in fence lines and along rock walls.
Source: Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University