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11 allergy-inducing pollen producers

By: Russell McLendon on April 21, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
lone oak tree in Louisiana field

Photo: Edd Prince [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr

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At roughly 600 species strong, oaks are some of the most familiar trees on Earth — and some of the most allergenic.

Habitat: Northern Hemisphere, from cold latitudes to tropical Asia and the Americas

Description: Sturdy trees, up to 150 feet tall. Oaks can be either deciduous or evergreen, but they're all monoecious.

Allergenicity: Severe

Allergy season: Spring

Tips: There's little hope of escaping oak trees, and since they're monoecious, you can't just dodge the males. Be sure to at least follow general pollen-avoiding advice, such as keeping windows closed and limiting outdoor activity from 5 to 10 a.m. in the spring. Natural remedies like astralagus root, raw local honey or spicy foods may also offer some relief, but don't expect any miracles.