Gibson Priest

Gibson Priest

Pollen season is here. Cars are covered with yellow pollen. Allergy sufferers are seeking relief of any kind.

Pollen is the male part of the plant’s reproductive system. Pollen can be transferred from tree to tree by air, insects, and other carriers. Wind-pollinated trees are designed to release large amounts of pollen. This increases the chance that pollen will get to the female flowers and pollinate them.

The pollen we see now is pollen from trees, mainly pine. Pine pollen has two large wings that allow it to fly through the air. This also helps to make the pollen big enough to be visible to us. Pine pollen is released by the male “cones” on the ends of the branches. The cones release pollen when the humidity is low and the weather is warm and windy.

Pine pollen is very visible and annoying, but not many people are allergic to pine pollen. More people react to the pollen from other trees (oaks, walnuts and hickories) and plants like ragweed. Although pine pollen may not cause many allergies, it can irritate the eyes and cover our cars and houses.

Keep doors and windows closed. Spring is not the time to air out your house. Use air conditioners to ventilate your home instead of opening the windows. Replace air conditioning

filters with a new one that can filter out pollen.

According to data collected by Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, Georgia’s pollen season peaks in early to mid -April, recedes in mid-May and resurfaces in mid-August.

Advanced knowledge of high pollen days can help allergy sufferers manage their symptoms. Pollen forecasts help those with allergies plan their days in order to minimize the effects of pollen when counts are predicted to be high.

If you have any questions regarding your outdoor needs or pollen problems, you are welcome to contact the extension office at 770-749-2142 or email uge2233@uga.edu.

For more information and details on upcoming events, check out the Polk County Extension office on Facebook by searching “UGA Extension Polk County.”

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