Spring is a season eagerly awaited by many, as it heralds the return of sunny days and the flowering of nature.
However, for some, this period can also be synonymous with pollen allergies. The guilty ? Pollen trees , which release these small particles into the air in order to reproduce.
In this article, we invite you to discover these different trees, their characteristics and how to recognize them.
You can also find our special pollen allergy file to have the necessary knowledge to understand and reduce your allergy.
What is a pollen tree?
A pollen tree is a species of tree whose reproduction takes place through the dissemination of pollen in the atmosphere.
This process is called anemophilous pollination, and it allows trees to fertilize their flowers with pollen grains carried by the wind. Among these trees, we find in particular the tapa, the olive tree, the ash or the oak and we will see the specificity of each one.
The different species of pollen trees
There are several species of pollen trees, each with its own characteristics. Here are some of the main species that can be found in France:
The tapa (Tilia) is a very widespread tree in Europe, which can reach up to 30 meters in height. It produces yellowish, fragrant flowers, which are highly prized by bees. The flowering period is usually between May and July , and the pollen produced is heavy and sticky.
The olive tree (Olea europaea) is a tree typical of the Mediterranean regions, where it is cultivated for its fruit, the olives.
It can reach a height of 10 to 15 meters and has evergreen leaves of a grayish-green color.
Flowering occurs in spring , with small white flowers grouped in clusters. Olive tree pollen is considered moderately allergenic.
The ash (Fraxinus) is a large tree that can reach 40 meters in height. It has leaves composed of opposite leaflets, and it flowers in April-May, before the leaves appear. Ash flowers are usually green or yellowish in color, and they produce highly allergenic pollen.
The oak (Quercus) is an emblematic tree, a symbol of strength and longevity. There are two main types of oaks: sessile oaks and pedunculate oaks.
These trees can reach up to 50 meters in height and live for several centuries.
Male oak flowers are grouped in pendulous catkins, and flowering occurs between April and June . Oak pollen is highly allergenic.
How to recognize a pollen tree?
To recognize a pollen tree, you must observe its morphology, its leaves and its flowering.
Here are some tips for identifying the different species presented above in addition to photos of their leaves:
- Tapa: heart-shaped leaves, yellowish and fragrant flowers.
- Olive tree: evergreen greyish-green leaves, small white flowers in clusters.
- Ash: leaves composed of opposite leaflets, green or yellowish flowers before the leaves appear.
- Oak: rough bark, lobed leaves, male flowers in hanging catkins.
The risks of allergies linked to pollen treesFor sensitive people, the presence of pollen trees can lead to allergic reactions, which usually show up in symptoms such as:
- Rhinitis (runny nose)
- Conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes)
These symptoms are due to the inhalation of pollen grains present in the air.
To limit the risk of allergies, it is advisable to avoid planting this type of tree near homes and to stay informed about the pollination periods.
How to limit the nuisances linked to pollen trees?If you are allergic to pollen, here are some tips to limit the inconvenience caused by the presence of pollen trees:
- Close the windows in your home during peak pollination.
- Avoid going out on windy days, which are conducive to pollen dispersal.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Wash your hands and face regularly to remove traces of pollen.
- Change clothes after spending time outdoors.
- Wear an anti-pollution mask that will protect you well from pollen.
To sum up, pollen trees such as tapa, olive, ash or oak play an important role in plant reproduction, but can also cause allergies in some people.
It is therefore essential to know how to recognize these species and to take the necessary measures to limit their impact on our health.
It is also important to look at what types of trees are planted in your city, you can find this information easily through an online search in your city.