Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Tree Pollen Allergy

    You’ve got a problem with pollen. Do you know if the kind that bothers you comes from trees, and which ones to avoid?

    It’s a common cause of allergy symptoms, especially in the early spring. And it’s not just about the trees in your yard.

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    Ragweed Pollen and Fall Allergies

    Summer is ending, you’re heading into fall. But you’re still sneezing and sniffling all day and into the night. What’s going on? Odds are you’re among the 10% to 30% of Americans who suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. And most cases of hay fever are caused by an allergy to fall pollen from plants belonging to the genus Ambrosia -- more commonly known as ragweed.

    Read the Ragweed Pollen and Fall Allergies article > >

    What to Know

    Tree pollens that trigger allergies tend to be very fine and powdery. The wind can carry them for miles.

    Inhaling even small amounts can trigger allergy symptoms.

    Trees that often set off allergies include:

    • Ash
    • Aspen
    • Beech
    • Birch
    • Box elder
    • Cedar
    • Cottonwood
    • Elm
    • Hickory
    • Mountain elder
    • Mulberry
    • Oak
    • Pecan
    • Willow

    People with tree pollen allergies sometimes assume that trees with colorful flowers -- like apple or cherry trees -- will trigger their symptoms. But flowering trees usually have bigger, stickier pollen that doesn't blow in the wind or cause symptoms.

    3 Things That Make It Worse

    1. Warm, windy days. Wind picks up dry pollen and sends it into the air. When it's cold or damp, pollen counts are usually lower.

    2. Certain fruits and vegetables. If you have nasal allergies to certain trees, you have a higher risk of allergic symptoms from some of these foods. For instance, if you're allergic to birch trees, you may get itchiness or swelling in your mouth or around your face after eating almonds, apples, carrots, celery, cherries, coriander, fennel, hazelnuts, kiwi, peaches, pears, or plums.

    3. Having trigger trees in your yard. How close you live to a tree makes a big difference. When one's in your own yard, it could expose you to 10 times as much pollen as a tree down the street.

     

    Tips to Manage Your Allergy

    Get tested. It's important to know which trees trigger your allergies. Once you do, you can figure out how to avoid their pollen.

    Avoid contact. It’s simple: Stay inside when pollen counts are high. Keep your windows shut. Wear a mask if you need to work outside.

    Remove trigger trees. If one in your yard clearly causes symptoms, prune back the branches to reduce the amount of pollen it releases. You could also take it out and replace it with one that’s less likely to cause allergies, like apple, cherry, dogwood, fir, or pine trees.

    Treat it. Medicine -- both OTC and prescription -- can ease or prevent allergy symptoms. Allergy shots and other forms of “immunotherapy” can also make a difference.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on December 05, 2014

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
     
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?
     

    blowing nose
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Article
     
    lone star tick
    Slideshow
    Woman blowing nose
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Article
    Allergy prick test
    VIDEO
     
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Assessment
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
    Quiz