FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
-- If you are an allergy sufferer, spring often brings sniffling, sneezing, and
watery eyes, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
February 11, 2013
culprit is pollen from flowers of trees, shrubs, grasses, and weeds," explained
Rhonda Ferree. "Though most of these bloom for just a short period, something
is almost always blooming. In early spring, it's the trees and shrubs. In
summer the main pollen source is flowering grasses. In late summer and fall,
weedy plants from roadsides are the problem."
is an important part of plant reproduction and must be moved around from flower
to flower. Showy flowers attract insects such as bees, which help pollinate the
flowers, but not all plants use insects.
plants that cause allergies use wind to spread their pollen," she said.
"Therefore, these plants typically have abundant pollen and not very noticeable
not all pollen causes allergies. Ample research has been done in this area to
determine which plants are the culprits. Allergenic trees are usually a problem
from March through May and include the following (in flowering order): maple,
willow, poplar, elm, birch, mulberry, ash, hickory, oak, and walnut.
are more powerful allergens than trees and bloom from May through summer. A few
allergenic grasses include orchard grass, bluegrass, timothy, Johnson grass,
Bermuda grass, and redtop.
and fall allergenic plants include many weeds such as ragweed, pigweed, lambs
quarters, and wormwood," Ferree explained. "Common and giant ragweeds are
serious hazards to hay fever sufferers. Both types of ragweed are included on
the Illinois noxious weed list for municipalities. It is illegal to allow
ragweed to grow on ground you own or work on within any municipality in
best way to manage these pollen producers in the landscape is through proper
need to be able to recognize and identify plants that produce irritating
pollen," she said. "Admittedly, you cannot completely eliminate allergies no
matter what you do because airborne pollen travels great distances; but you can
improve the immediate area where you live.
tree pollen is hard to manage, but if you are an allergy sufferer, choose
non-allergenic trees. The greatest allergy offenders are grasses and weeds, so
try to keep them from blooming through mowing and weed management programs. For
some dioecious plants, you can plant the female instead of the male plants, because
it's the males that produce pollen, but remember that female plants produce all
(and mold) counts are routinely provided through the nightly news or on the
Internet. Each provides counts for the local area and lists the allergen
sources. Counts are usually ranked from low (1) to high (10) and indicate to
allergy sufferers the potential for symptoms of hay fever or asthma.
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source/writer: Rhonda J. Ferree, 309-543-3308, firstname.lastname@example.org