YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As Spring comes around, many people are preparing their lawns and gardens for the nice weather. There may be some things to look out for while doing so.

Poisonous plants can be harmful to your lawns, gardens, and to people who come in contact with them. 

There are different signs you can look for to tell if you may have a poisonous, invasive plant in your lawn or garden.

“Any of those types of plants are gonna look significantly different from your traditional grass in the yard. So, they’re gonna be fairly easy to pinpoint if they’re out in a yard setting,” said Haley Shoemaker, Agriculture and Natural Resources educator with the Ohio State University Extension. 

She says it’s important to identify plants before trying to remove them because each plant calls for a different process.

There are several plants to look out for in Northeast Ohio:

  • Poison Ivy
  • Giant Hogweed
  • Poison Hemlock
  • Wild Parsnip
  • Tree of Heaven

Poison hemlock and wild parsnip in particular have been spreading throughout Ohio for the past several decades. 

Poison hemlock is very toxic, and animals can be poisoned by eating small amounts of it. It is the same plant said to have killed Socrates. It has white flowers that grow in small erect clusters. Each flower develops into a green, deeply ridged fruit that contains several seeds.

The OSU Extension has provided photos to help identify these plants. Shoemaker also said they offer a free plant and pest clinic from April through October to help answer questions or identify insects and garden samples. You can take advantage of this by visiting their office at 490 S Broad St, Canfield, or calling 330-533-5538.