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Tree Selection for Future Phases
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Anita S.
Mueller Community

Posts: 55
Joined on December 1st, 2009
Tree Selection for Future Phases
by Anita S. on April 11th, 2010

I recently read a really interesting op-ed piece about how the changes in tree-planting in cities over the past 60 years might be directly contributing the the incredible allergies that so many of us have these days.

Excerpt:
"The pollen that causes the most severe allergic reactions comes from a few so-called monoecious species of trees, which have both male and female flowers, and from the males of separate-sexed (dioecious) species. Many arborists and landscapers like to plant male trees and shrubs because they’re “litter-free” — that is, they produce no seeds or seedpods. But male trees shed lots of pollen; that’s their job. And once it’s released, it can be blown around for months."

Does anyone know whether the trees around Mueller are monoecious or male? If many are, should we instead be considering alternatives in the public space and among the builders? I would be forever grateful if we could reduce the pollen while still having nice trees.

Anita

Full article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/opinion/06ogren.html?hp
 
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Tree Selection for Future Phases
by Rod on April 12th, 2010

We fully support you here, Anita.

As if Austin needs to further its lead as allergen capital...

-Rod and family

 
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ret1ree00
Mueller Community

Posts: 333
Joined on September 7th, 2007
Tree Selection for Future Phases
by ret1ree00 on April 12th, 2010

I seriously doubt the landscape companies pay any attention to plant gender when they pick them up from the supplier.

Based on what we saw when we made the tour of the neighborhood with the tree farmer and arborist in preparation for our tree care seminar- they were concerned the landscape companies were buying "2nd" rate stock, trees with obvious defects from the growers. In one extreme case the tree had already broken off the leader trunk about 5 feet above the ground effectively topping out the tree.

Joe
 
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bgierisch15
Mueller Community

Posts: 252
Joined on November 9th, 2007
Tree Selection for Future Phases
by bgierisch15 on April 17th, 2010

Rod,

In re your "As if Austin needs to further its lead as allergen capital..."

I recently read a report by one of the national allergy-related medical societies ranking the top ten places for allergies in the US. Sorry I can't remember more of the details, but Austin did not make the top 10! Numero Uno was Knoxville TN followed by Louisville KY. I also remember Charlotte NC, Nashville, St. Louis, Philly and, I believe, KC as being in the top ten. Mostly mid-Atlantic locations -
 
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Tree Selection for Future Phases
by Rod on April 17th, 2010

Hi Bobby,

http://www.austinallergies.com/Lake_Austin_Asthma_&_Allergy/Blog/Entries/2010/2/20_Austin_Allergies.html

Scanning down, one reads:

"Austin has consistently ranked very high on the Fall Season standings, that is, until 2008 and 2009. Over the last 7 years, Austin has ranked: 4th in 2003, 1st in 2004, 14th in 2005, 12th in 2006, 1st in 2007, 41st in 2008, and 24th in 2009. The data did not permit a determination of why Austin has ranked lower the last two years. In the past, cedar (which pollinates in the winter months) has always been included in the determination since, unlike other cities, we continue to suffer from allergies with the onset of cold weather.

In 2004 and 2007 when Austin was ranked first, AAFA specifically singled out mountain cedar as the reason for the top ranking, and with good reason."

The article then goes on to discuss the Spring season, as:

"While perhaps not as high, Austin has also been consistently listed in the top 25 cities for bad spring allergies as well, at least until the last 2 years. Over the last 7 years, Austin has ranked: 2nd in 2003, 6th in 2004, 26th in 2005, 26th in 2006, 24th in 2007, 54th in 2008, and 71st in 2009. Again, no obvious reason could be determined as to why Austin fell in the spring rankings. One possibility may be the drought that we’ve endured over the past couple of years; this may have brought the total pollen counts lower and reduced us in the standings."

So, you have an excellent point. While we have been the 'Allergy Capital of the USA' (it is a bit presumptuous to claim the whole World) in certain years but only in the Fall (2004 & 2007), not year round, in other years our pollen counts were apparently not as 'ominous' (I use that word in the context of we allergy sufferers!) as other places.

I do remember being bemused when reading (and it was the Fall of 2007 just as we were settling in here) an online blog about 'Cedar Fever and what to do', in which a young lady who indicated that she was "green in every way one could imagine" said, however, that she would "gladly take to the hills with a flame thrower to wipe out these cedar trees." (Just reporting what I read and I took it as a tounge-in-cheek comment in any case. But...she seemed serious.)

That is: I won't advocate assaulting any trees, even though they seem to be assaulting me at times with their enthusiasm at procreating.

-Rod


 
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Andrew Shepherd


Posts: 1
Joined on June 20th, 2019
Tree Selection for Future Phases
by Andrew Shepherd on June 20th, 2019

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