Yellow dust on the cars, sidewalks, streets, houses, mailboxes, ponds, and air! Breathing it in makes for an allergy nightmare. What IS this yellow powder that has taken over our land? Well first of all we can blame it on a male!!  Of course males often get blamed for just about everything that goes wrong in this world, and every once in a while they actually deserve it. In this case, the evidence is confirmed! Pine pollen is one of  the culprits and pine trees have both male and female pine cones. The male cones are usually smaller and often not even noticed, but the pollen that they produce is. So, if your car is yellow and you are suffering from severe allergy symptoms, blame a male.Pine trees produce large (very large) amounts of pollen each spring in order to ensure that the seeds get fertilized and the species can survive.

Speaking of allergies, the pine tree isn’t the lone perpetrator though…….. relatives of the pine are non-flowering plants called Gymnosperms. The flowering trees, grasses, and plants, are the ones that cause the most allergic reactions. Although their flowers are tiny and easily overlooked, the oaks, maples, hickorys, etc. are the main cause of hay fever this time of year. Believe it or not, there may be 50-100 times the amount of oak pollen in the air right now than pine pollen. It is just much smaller and less conspicuous than pine pollen. Later in the year, other flowering plants, especially grasses and ragweed cause your hay fever. Bright yellow goldenrod usually gets the blame, but the small, plain-looking flowers of ragweed are the real bad guys. Things are not always as they seem. So even though you see the yellow powdery pollen, it isn’t the main cause of your allergy woes. But, whomever the culprit, it’s the male species that produces all of it!