The Trees Make You Sneeze!
Pollen. That downy dust that travels windswept across our yards and along streets. That wonderful gift of Mother Nature that allows trees to reproduce and survive. That lowdown sticky stuff that coats our cars, flies up our noses, and gets sucked down our throats to cause weeks of misery for over 14 million Americans every year.
What are those little flakes? Pollen is the male fertilizing agent of flowering trees, grasses, weeds, and other plants and is composed of powdery granules that range in size from microscopic to visible yellow flakes. Pine and oak trees produce the largest pollen molecules; this is the pollen that you can actually see.
As for the really tiny pollen, though it might seem that the only reason for its microscopic size is so that it can attack us unawares, scientists tell us that its small size and light weight allow it to be carried by the wind. For wind pollination to be successful some trees must produce lots of pollen, and for allergy sufferers, lots of pollen produces lots of sneezing.
The allergen that triggers your allergy is produced only by the “male” flower part of a tree, and they can produce a lot of pollen. Some trees bear separate male and female flowers on the same plant, and are called “monecious.” Examples include honey locust, oak, sweetgum, pine, spruce, birch, sugar maple, black walnut, and American sycamore.
“Dioecious” tree species bear male and female flowers on separate plants. Dioecious male flower trees are the worst trees because they only bear pollen, and dioecious females are the best because they don’t produce any pollen and are allergen-free. The male trees were no doubt planted to replace the female trees and their very messy fruit, but as a result produce tons of pollen.
The best plants in your environment to reduce pollen-induced sneezing fits are dioecious females as they bear no pollen. Dioecious trees include American holly, ash, boxelder, cedar, cottonwood, juniper, mulberry, poplar and yew.
If you need help selecting or planting the right type of tree to help reduce pollen allergies, contact a professional tree care company in your area.
(Article from TreeCareTips.org)