By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What makes you sneeze may be the trees. While we often hear that ‘tree pollen is high,’ many of us don’t think about certain trees having flowers at all – such as oaks and walnuts, and beeches – because they aren’t generally showy flowers with pretty petals or petals like cherry or magnolia trees.
Although some of our deciduous trees have flowers you might see, such as red maple flowers or the yellow glow of a willow, some tree flowers just go largely unnoticed, because they’re way up and because many of these trees aren’t trying so much to attract bees or other insects to pollinate them – they wait for the wind to do it instead. For example, a breeze can spread male oak pollen onto female oak flowers so they can become acorns.
To carry on the wind, this kind of tree pollen is particularly dry and light, so it also blows easily through open windows, onto your car, your clothes and up your nose. So when you feel a breeze and start to sneeze this time of year, the likely reason is tiny flowers in great big trees.