Tis the Sneezin' Season

Tree Pollen Peaking

If it’s mid April in Appalachia, then the peak of the tree pollen season should be nearing. Indeed, the yellow residue of oak pollen is soon to cake our cars, a sure sign that we are nearing the height of the tree pollen season.

Today on my jog thru the park, it took only one lap around the lake for my throat to turn dry and that first cough to echo across the pond. With the ornamental trees in full bloom (some are past like Bradford Pear, Redbud and Star Magnolia), the visual and olfactory senses are in harmony. Look for Dogwood in full bloom this weekend!

Of course the price to be paid by the beauty and splendor of spring is that the trees become pollen producing factories. In fact the pollen assembly line kicks into high gear at night and reaches its pinnacle by mid morning. That makes a walk or gardening hardest in the morning.

In our region, the oaks and the maples are the most prolific pollinators with the second half of April notorious for the spring’s highest pollen counts. That said, I am predicting the highest levels of the season SO FAR to occur Friday and again on Saturday before showers arrive. Weekend rain should briefly cleanse the air and drop pollen counts. My gut says the actual zenith of tree pollen is a week away, so hay fever sufferers hang in there and take your medication.

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