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Dan27

Trees with low pollen

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Hello, I have a very large tulip tree in my garden that has a Tpo on it. The tree is about 50ft in height and is very close to my house. The canopy overhangs my house and you can reach the branches from my sons window. 

My son is only 4 and it is suspected he is asthmatic (hard to diagnose at young age but he was premature, has exema and this year he has suffered with a poor cough and blood tests show that he is allergic to pollen.)

Doctors have suggested removing this tree may help with his allergens .

The tree has a Tpo and I have put an application in with the council to have it removed. 

Council have asked if I would plant another tree instead.

If I did this, it would be further away from the house but I am wondering if there are any trees that are low in pollen levels and are there any I should really avoid? 

Many Thanks. 

Edited by Dan27
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Sorry to hear about your youngun.

The thing with pollen is it's airborne. I usually have no hay fever, but when the right (wrong) combination of grasses are about I really suffer.

Is it possible for the doctors to determine or suggest which trees/plants are most likely to provoke a reaction?

I'd be inclined to plant a rowan in its place. Small flowers, nice berries, loads of birds.
 

Edited by Mark J

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Unfortunately Pollen is produced by all trees. I'm asthmatic, I was diagnosed at a young age and carry an inhaler up the trees when I'm in them. In my case, I use my inhaler about 3 times a day sometimes, it's actually better when I'm in a tree. 

 

Doctors aren't massively clued up on asthma, I ended up seeing a specialist which is what I suggest you do with your son when he is a little older and its actually worth it. Obviously a pollen allergy is different and otherwise known as "Hayfever" which I also suffer from along with 1 in 5 other people in the UK. It's not uncommon and is something that you can grow out of but in the mean time you can reduce it with over the counter antihistamine. I found that using local honey regularly (I now have 35 hives) can reduce hayfever. I used to get red and puffy eyes along with a runny nose etc, I don't get any of the symptoms anymore and no longer use antihistamines. 

 

In my room I have a dehumidifier with a HEPA filter, the dehumidifier keeps the humidity low for the asthma and the HEPA filter reduces the pollen/dust. This is what I would suggest for you because it will have a definite, instant and reliable result. You won't be able to get rid of pollen by just chopping the tree down, especially in summer. You could get the branches cut back from the house a little but it isn't going to make much of a difference, nor is cutting the tree down and replacing it with something else.  

 

Give your kid a local raw honey and buy a hepa filter and leave the poor tree alone as it's been there a lot longer than you! 

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Thanks. I have bought an air purifier with a hepa filter. 

I bought one that has an app and it measures the quality of the air in his room. 

In spring /summer it was working overtime. 

If permission is granted, I will be taking the tree down. Like I say, it's very close to me house and already the branches are almost touching my sons windows. 

I am unsure how old the tree actually is. I read that they can grow 2ft per year and up to 90ft.

The tree is probably 40-50 years old and my house is about 25 years old - so it's not an ancient old tree. 

It's not native to UK. There is no local value to this tree as I only have one neighbour who can see it and he hates the things as it blokes out the sun to his garden. 

 

Are there any trees that have lower pollen levels? 

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47 minutes ago, Dan27 said:

Are there any trees that have lower pollen levels? 

There really aren't. Birch, Alder and Hazel are are trigger for a lot of people and their pollen is an allergenic to most poeple. Outside of that there aren't really any "Low pollen" trees. Unless you buy a female tree but trees aren't sold by gender.

 

Trees pollenate in one of two ways, by air, where they blow very fine pollen particles around and pollenate nearby trees and by using flowers to attract bugs. Birch, Alder, Hazel etc pollenate by air and this makes them actively allergenic and will often effect people who aren't even allergic to pollen. 

 

Tulip Trees are actually classed as a monoecious tree. This means that it produces a much larger, stickier, courser pollen that doesn't float around and is spread by bugs. This is probably why you are blaming the tree for the hayfever as the pollen is big and visible. This big, heavy pollen actually puts them into the hypoallergenic tree category as the pollen doesn't sit in the air so by replacing it you could actually be in a worse off position than you were before. I really advise that you look into getting it pruned back a bit, reduce it's size, maybe even thin the crown a little and allow more light through and leave less flowering buds. 

 

I know you want a "chop it down and put X tree in it's place" answer but a non-pollen/low pollen tree doesn't exist, if it did, we wouldn't have any trees, or bees etc. 

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Sorry to hear about your son's Asthma. 

 

I would echo what's been said above.  I'm afraid I would not expect removing the Tulip tree to make any significant difference.  At certain times of year tree pollen is produced in huge quantities that it is 'everywhere'.  I suffer from tree-pollen allergy and it starts in February and lasts until early May. 

 

Unless I take antihistamines - life is pretty miserable.  The good news is that they work.  However, your son is too young for that sort of remedy yet.  Sounds as if you are doing everything else you can.

 

IF you are determined to remove the tree - then you can replace it with a 'no-pollen' alternative.  It's not quite true that ALL trees produce pollen.  Some trees separate male and female flowers - they are dioecious.  If you google dioecious trees it will give you a list of species.  Female trees will not produce pollen.

 

Making sure you get a female tree is tricky.  You'll have to buy a more mature specimen, from a reputable source that can verify it's gender.  And some dioecious trees come with their own issues.  Yew is dioecious - but the female trees produce berries with a toxic outer coat.  Not ideal when there are children in the garden.

Edited by Bunzena
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@Dan27 ; as an aside Tulip timber is lovely; if the tree's in good condition consider using the timber for turning or ornamental use.

Not your primary concern I know - good luck with your lad - but it strikes me there could be some emotional attachment to the tree.

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7 hours ago, Bunzena said:

Yew is dioecious - but the female trees produce berries with a toxic outer coat. 

good stuff re asthma but yew berry snotty gogs are not poisonous, the seed in the middle is but better safe than sorry.

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21 hours ago, openspaceman said:

good stuff re asthma but yew berry snotty gogs are not poisonous, the seed in the middle is but better safe than sorry.

The sperm textured ayrl is lovely

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