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What Allergenic Tree Pollen Is Most Common in the United States

What Allergenic Tree Pollen Is Most Common in the United States?

Nearly a third of the world population suffers from seasonal allergies that impair their daily functioning — and allergenic tree pollen is a common culprit. Not only are rising temperatures prolonging allergy season, but not all trees pollinate at the same time, either. Depending on where you live, a tree pollen allergy may cause you to suffer through summer and into fall as well as during the late winter and spring, when you were probably expecting allergy symptoms.

This look at the types of tree pollen that are most likely to trigger allergic reactions across the United States can help you identify the cause of your allergy symptoms. You will, in turn, be able to develop strategies to reduce your exposure.

What Is Tree Pollen, and Why Is it Such a Problem?

Like other plants, trees produce pollen — a microscopic dust originating from their reproductive systems. This pollen is then spread in the only possible way, given the fact that trees are stationary; through the wind and often over vast distances. Breathing in tree pollen is inevitable, and for many people, this fact doesn’t represent any problems. Those who are allergic to specific kinds of tree pollen will, however, suffer the consequences.

Pollen counts are highest on warm and windy days. The trees that produce the pollen to which you are allergic do not have to be close to you for debilitating symptoms to set in, although being outside in close proximity to offending trees certainly exacerbates your allergy symptoms.

What Types of Tree Pollen Are the Worst Offenders in the United States?

The trees people with tree pollen allergies are most likely to be exposed to in the United States include:

  • Ash trees. Numerous different species of ash trees, ranging from the White Ash to Oregon and Texas Ash trees, pollinate during the spring. These trees tend to cause moderately-severe allergy symptoms, and are most common across the eastern and southeastern regions of the US.
  • Poplars, cottonwoods, and aspen trees all belong to the same family. A variety of species are responsible for releasing airborne allergens across the country. These trees pollinate during the spring, and poplars cause a huge problem to people living in the south-west, as well as Minnesota.
  • The tree pollen produced by oak trees leads to severe allergy symptoms, which are worst in the mornings. The fact that oak trees, which pollinate during the spring, are popular throughout the United States means that they are extremely hard to avoid.
  • Birch trees, which are native to Asia and Europe, pollinate during the springtime and are most commonly found in the northern regions of the United States. Although the tree pollen they produce is considered to be moderately allergenic, it is possible to suffer from severe allergy symptoms if these trees are numerous in your region.
  • Box elder is notorious for causing more severe allergy symptoms than any other maple tree, but other maple species can easily cause difficulties as well. While the tree pollen that triggers allergy seasons will be present in the highest numbers between April and May, be aware that some of these trees can begin pollinating as early as January. Others, meanwhile, flower in the middle of the summer. Maple trees can plague allergy sufferers for much of the year, then.
  • Mulberry trees or shrubs are also among the worst offenders, and its family consists of more than one thousand different species. Tree pollen produced by various members of the mulberry family may be present late in the winter as well as during the spring. Some jurisdictions, like El Paso, have gone as far as to ban the planting of new mulberry trees to offer relief to people with severe allergies.
  • Over 70 different species of Juniper trees and shrubs are distributed all over the US. Not only do they begin pollinating in the winter, their pollen also travels far and wide. Texas is one of the worst states to live in if you are severely allergic to pollen produced by Juniper trees.
  • Pecan trees and other members of the hickory family are extremely allergenic, pollinate during the spring, and cause widespread problems in the central and eastern regions.
  • Palm trees may only be considered mildly allergenic, but they pose a different challenge — many members of this family pollinate throughout the year. If you are allergic to this type of tree problem, that means that you can forget about “seasonal allergies”, as each season becomes allergy season. People who are also allergic to grass pollen have a higher risk of also suffering in the presence of palm trees, but not every palm has the same allergenic potential.

While other trees, including beech, willow, and pine trees, can absolutely also trigger allergy symptoms as they pollinate, these are some of the worst offenders.

What Steps Can You Take to Reduce Your Exposure to Tree Pollen?

You can tell that you are suffering from allergies even if you have not sought medical attention. Tell-tale symptoms like nasal congestion, constant sneezing, a runny nose, a sore throat, irritated, swollen, and red eyes, coughing accompanied by some chest discomfort, and possible wheezing and shortness of breath, will give it away. It is not, however, enough to know that you are dealing with “an allergic reaction”. To be able to limit your exposure effectively, you need to know exactly what you are allergic to.

That means being tested. If you are confirmed to be suffering from an allergy to specific types of tree pollen, you can take specific steps to avoid them. Two of the most important things you can do in addition to using antihistamines as your doctor directs would be to:

  • Eliminate trees that trigger your allergies from your immediate surroundings. While it is true that tree pollen can travel across impressive distances, you will be exposed to much higher amounts of tree pollen if trees producing pollen you are allergic to are right in your backyard. Having those trees chopped down is almost guaranteed to offer some relief.
  • You can’t do much about trees that are not on your property, though, and that is why it is also crucial to pay attention to the pollen count in your neighborhood. On high-pollen days, you can reduce your allergy symptoms by staying inside and shutting your windows.

Could You Have a Mold Problem in Your Home Alongside A Tree Pollen Allergy?

If you suffer from debilitating tree pollen allergies, staying in your home and keeping the windows closed on high-pollen days is one of the most effective ways to reduce your exposure. Knowing that tree pollen spreads most easily on windy and warm days, while damp days result in lower pollen counts, you may even have added a humidifier to your home in a bid to find much-needed symptom relief.

Are your allergy symptoms still rather intense despite all the proactive steps you have taken? In that case, it is important to consider the possibility that your home may have a mold problem. Mold thrives in humid and warm conditions, and although it can be visible, that is far from universally true. You may have mold within your drain pipes, attic, or crawl spaces, and in some cases, the only clue lies in experiencing some of the same symptoms you associate with your tree pollen allergy. It is important to keep in mind that many people who are sensitive to tree pollen, like those with allergic asthma, will react equally strongly to mold.

To find out whether hidden mold in your home is causing your allergy symptoms, MI&T can perform an independent and unbiased mold inspection that leaves nothing uncovered. As a nationwide mold inspection company, MI&T is able to inspect to perform a mold inspection anywhere in the United States. After a thorough visual inspection, the air samples our independent mold inspectors take are lab tested, and you receive a full assessment that enables you to move forward with mold remediation.

Once you think your mold problem has been dealt with, MI&T can return for a follow-up clearance assessment that will let you know whether your home is truly free from harmful molds.

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