Pollen

“Pollen”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

 

Early, every spring, the pine trees start to shed their pollen.  If there is no rain, everything becomes covered in a light yellow dust.  It is just starting, but already there is pine tree pollen all over the cars; you can’t walk outside without your shoes quickly being covered in yellow; and even the cats are covered in yellow powder and leave tiny yellow footprints on the black slate floor.  With the weather turning warmer and pleasant, we won’t be able to open any windows or doors until this stuff stops falling.  The plants in the garden present a special problem.

 

 

Pollen-covered insect on pollen-covered rose leaves

Pollen-covered insect on pollen-covered rose leaves

 

 

 

The problem that occurs in the garden happens whenever water hits the pollen-covered plants.  When a light rain falls or when watering, if not enough water is used to completely wash the pollen off the leaves, the pollen puddles and sticks like glue.  There is simply no getting that stuff off.  There have been leaves on plants that still show signs of pollen at the end of summer, and that is after all our summer rains.  And, let me tell you, we get a lot of rain in the summer here.  After having this happen several years, I make sure to wash off the leaves of everything whenever I water, and if we only get a light rain, I make sure to rinse off the plants before they dry so that there will be no pollen residue sticking around marring the looks of the garden.
 
 
 
Luckily, pine pollen does not really bother many people. It might seem that pine tree pollen, which is produced in large amounts by a common tree, would make it a good candidate for causing allergy. It is, however, less allergenic than other plants, and a relatively rare cause of allergy. Because pine pollen is heavy, it tends to fall straight down from the tree and does not scatter in the wind, rarely reaching human noses. (www.umm.edu/careguides/000034.htm).  If your allergies are acting up, it is probably another plant that is blooming at the same time (oaks?) that is causing it.   
 
 
 

I know we need for nature to reproduce, and it is nice to have pine trees.  But it will be so nice when this pollen season is over because pine pollen certainly does make a mess of clothes, cars, animals, and houses.

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14 Comments

  1. Janet said,

    March 3, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    ah… pollen season. Makes me wonder why I wash the windows in the early spring.

    • Jan said,

      March 4, 2009 at 5:40 am

      Janet, I haven’t washed my windows yet, but I am making sure to hose them down occasionally until the pine pollen stops. I am hoping that it won’t be too long this year.

  2. March 4, 2009 at 9:45 am

    oh yes….my green car is now yellow

  3. Brenda Kula said,

    March 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Not here yet! Amazing to say, but I forget about this nuisance each and every year until it actually begins. Sort of like having babies, I suppose. If we didn’t put the pain out of our minds (sort of) we wouldn’t reproduce at all!
    Brenda

  4. Jan said,

    March 4, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    DP, I remember when I had a dark green car, and it was covered in pollen. My sister used to tease me and ask if I was now working at a sulpher mine.

    Brenda, you are right about the having babies part, but I always remember pine pollen time. Some years are worse than others, but it is the only down side of spring here.

  5. March 5, 2009 at 1:04 am

    I have to take my cushions in due to this mess. My allergies are acting up right now cause of the Elm pollen. It’s awful. Our pine will start in a few weeks too.

    • Jan said,

      March 5, 2009 at 5:54 am

      Anna, it is funny how I never noticed pollen until I became a homeowner. I never remember pollen being a problem when I was a child or teenager. Funny how things change as you change.

  6. JOSEPH JOHNSON AKA LUCIFER said,

    March 19, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I LIVE IN TEXAS AND THE PINE TREES ARE BLOOMING FAST WITH OTHER OLD PINE COMBS ON THEM THAT HAVE NOT EVEN FELL OFF YET…PRETTY ODD

    • Jan said,

      March 20, 2009 at 4:22 am

      That happens here, too. I guess the cones aren’t like flowers that will only last a season and then fall.

  7. Gail Jones said,

    April 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    How long does this pine pollen last?

    • Jan said,

      April 22, 2009 at 3:42 am

      Gail, around here, the pollen can last about two weeks. If you get rain, it will wash some of it out of the air, and then the conditions are not too bad. With no rain, it just seems to last forever.

  8. Claire Williams said,

    December 29, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Pine pollen disperses up to 3000 km from its source so it is not too heavy to move into the human nose. For over a century, pine biologists have chronicled the long-distance movement of pine pollen which rarely causes any sort of allergy.

    See “Conifer Reproductive Biology” blog for more details.

  9. Tom Ogren said,

    March 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    The reason pine pollen doesn’t cause a lot of severe allergy is not because the individual pine pollen grains are heavy, it is because they are quite large, and are covered with a waxy substance. Pine pollen grains look like little Micky Mouse faces, complete with the big ears. Their size keeps them from bein inhaled deeply into the lungs.
    One species of pine, Lodgepole Pine, lacks the waxy covering on its pollen grains, and this pollen does trigger both allergies and asthma.

    • Jan said,

      March 20, 2010 at 5:53 am

      Thanks for the info, Tom. You have a very informative site.


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