HOUSTON – Spring has officially sprung, but if it went by pollen counts then we started our spring six weeks ago! Understanding just what is going on is important and pretty simple: for most trees, the male trees pollinate and female trees produce fruit, the pollen being transported from plant to plant by wind or bees or butterflies or the lawn guy’s leaf blower!
Apparently, we like to plant a lot of male trees (less clean up) and so we have a lot of pollen, especially from all of our oaks and pines. One solution in the fight against pollen is to plant trees that don’t produce pollen in the first place: female trees! Like a nice peach tree:
Ted Sonnier, District Manager of Davey Tree, suggests the following trees if you don’t want a bunch of pollen floating around:
· Cedar trees
· Peach trees
· Flowering pear trees
· Female ash trees
· Chinese fringe tree
· Juniper trees
· Poplar trees
· Tupelo trees
· Willow trees
A lot of us have time on our hands to get out and do some yard work and a little planting. If you aren’t that proactive to plant trees, then understanding the season helps. Oaks are coming to an end in pollen production, according to Ted, but pine is really just beginning and those are our two biggies. We’ll likely be suffering high pollen counts through the end of May. So try to keep the pollen out of the house: take your shoes off, get clothes into the wash sooner than later, brush pollen off the dog before he comes back inside. And, like today, a good rain now and then washes the air nicely:
Try to keep in mind through all of the sneezing that trees are beautiful, supply us with oxygen and shade, and are homes to birds and squirrels and are, well, just a part of the world like we are! I’m not sure who got here first, but we’re all in this together.