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11 allergy-inducing pollen producers

By: Russell McLendon on April 21, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
Mountain cedar releasing pollen

Photo: Andy Heatwole/LocalTexas.com

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Juniper

This tree isn't on fire — it's releasing pollen. Often called "mountain cedar," it's actually an Ashe juniper, one of many allergenic juniper species. Others include the Eastern red cedar, Pinchot's juniper and Western juniper.

Habitat: Usually semi-arid regions

Description: Small evergreen trees or shrubs with many stems. Most are dioecious, meaning only males produce pollen.

Allergenicity: Moderate to severe

Allergy season: Varies (e.g., winter for Ashe junipers; spring for Western junipers)

Tips: Avoid male junipers, especially near true cedars, since juniper and cedar pollen can cross-react. Also limit outdoor activity from 5 to 10 a.m. during juniper-allergy season, since that's typically prime time for pollen.