If you've ever spent time in North Carolina during the Spring or late Summer seasons, chances are you're familiar with the thick yellow film that covers every outdoor surface.
For the first time in 3 years we are experiencing the full-fledged Carolina Spring season! Typically in March we'd be on the west coast, planning our trip back east - but this year we're here in North Carolina, witnessing all the transitional stages as Winter turns to Spring. And that made us start to think more about this yellow dusting as allergy season swiftly approaches...
Luckily we take this stuff pretty seriously here in NC, there's even a Pollen Report where you can check how much pollen was reported (and from where) within the last 24 hours! Beyond that, the folks over at the NC State Forestry Department have even developed an algorithm to predict when the pines will start releasing pollen and when they'll reach their maximum pollen production - all based on temperatures after February 1st. ➡️ View algorithm here ⬅️
Now if you're someone who suffers from allergies, know this: Pine pollen, the yellow ick you can see, actually isn't the kind of stuff that makes most people sick due it's large size!
According to a 2022 article interviewing Dr. Saira Sheikh of the UNC Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, the trees responsible for our allergy symptoms here in North Carolina tend to be:
Brush up on your Tree IDs here ➡️
This means our poor pines have been taking the punches while these hardwoods are the ones to blame! Now get this... Dr. Sheikh continued to blow our minds by stating:
“If you have any of these trees in your yard and you’re close to a tree, you’re 10 times as likely to have symptoms compared to if the tree was across the street from you.”
Well fret-not because our hero Dr. Sheikh also gave tips for avoiding allergy symptoms in this plant-plume-chaos that is Spring in North Carolina. Dr. Sheikh pointed out that pollen counts are typically highest in the mornings, lessening throughout the afternoon, and that windy days before a storm can be the worst - so its best to stay indoors these highly-concentrated times. She also says it helps to remove your shoes before going inside, shower after being outdoors, and consider kicking your dog out of the bedroom for the season... I imagine fur clings to that stuff like no other. 😬 Good luck out there folks!