Q: As we move into the spring allergy season, I’ve heard that the reason tree pollen counts are so high is that male trees far outnumber female trees. I have room in my yard for another tree and I’d like to reduce the pollen count in the vicinity of my house. Any suggestions?
A: Environmentalist Theresa Schrum (www.theresaschrum.com) says the truth is that not many tree species are dioecious (having separate male and female plants). Most trees either have perfect flowers that possess both male and female parts or have male and female flowers on the same tree. The male part of the flower, the male flower or the male tree do produce the pollen. However, the proliferation of pollen isn’t due to people planting only male trees, as these really only constitute a small portion of the entire tree population. Looking at the high day for pollen in spring 2012, (www.atlantaallergy.com), I see that the contributors were mulberry, pine, oak and sycamore. None of these are male trees but avoid planting them if you want to lessen the pollen count slightly.