"It took me a while to figure out what kind of vine it was because the leaves only started about [10 feet] off the ground, and the aerial roots were such a tangled mass that I didn't recognize it as poison ivy right away," Fedrock told GWR.
Fedrock said he suspected the vine might be poison ivy, but he had to dig out some buckthorn to get a better view. The experience left him with a positive identification, as well as poison ivy rashes on his hands, arms, face and stomach.
"I was hoping to avoid it, but some hazards are inescapable, and the cause was worthy," he said. "The oil that causes the rash is also in the dead leaves which litter the area. It seeps into the dirt, and the underground roots also contain it and were likely intermingled with the common buckthorn roots I was digging out."
A friend suggested Fedrock submit the 68-foot vine to Guinness World Records, and the organization confirmed it is the tallest poison ivy plant in the world.
"I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I am fascinated by the natural world and I'm always looking for the most interesting things in the woods; they make good destinations for my trails, but in this case the trail found the interesting thing," he said.