By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What’s making you sneeze comes mostly from flowers you hardly ever see or notice – teensy flowers in tall oaks, ashes and many maples and other trees that use the wind to carry their pollen on a breeze.
These trees make loads of pollen to be sure they have enough, then just let it blow through the air, which is why you find it on your car, clothes, in your hair and up your nose.
On the other hand, the much bigger and more ornamental flowers you see on other trees are pollinated by birds, bees, beetles and other critters that crawl and fly from flower to flower. The pollen on these bigger flowers doesn’t blow easily in the breeze at all – it’s much stickier and stays on the flowers, which use their colorful petals to attract the pollinators.
So don’t avoid planting trees because you have allergies! Many of the prettiest trees of all – including dogwoods, crabapples, magnolias and redbuds – don’t really trigger allergies at all.