Pollen comes from plants, weeds, and trees growing everywhere. Allergy sufferers may be allergic to one type or all types of pollen. That being said, if you suffer from tree allergies, it may make your summer uncomfortable.
You cannot control every tree planted in your neighborhood, but you can control your own yard. Moreover, from this article, you will know what trees are safe for you to be near during peak pollen times.
We consider trees hypoallergenic if they are free of allergy-causing pollen. Even trees with heavy pollen that will not drift in the wind are better for allergy sufferers.
On a tree, the male flowers produce pollen. Therefore, trees that support both male and female flowers and completely male trees will produce pollen. However, a completely female tree will not produce pollen.
Planting all female trees in your yard will reduce the pollen around your home dramatically. However, it is not supportive of our pollinator friends like bees.
Altogether, all-female trees may not be the most decorative trees for your yard, but they may reduce your allergy symptoms greatly. The growing season is tough on so many of us, and controlling your environment is your right. Even by controlling your home, you may have a better spring and summer.
Top 5 Non-Pollen Trees
- White Ash
Cottonwood trees counter all the rules we list above. Only the female trees produce the thick cottony seeds that make this tree identifiable. So, you will want to choose a male tree to avoid pollen.
Cottonwoods grow across the United States. The entire Midwest and the Southeast are home to the cottonwood tree. These trees grow to 100 feet tall. With enough time, the trunk can reach a diameter of 9 feet.
The bark is a light brown/gray and is deeply fissured as it matures. Overall, these trees grow very fast. In portions of the Mississippi River, cottonwoods can grow 10 feet per year. The leaves are massive and easily measure 4 inches long.
You will want to ensure you choose a male tree at the nursery or else you will be punished greatly by mountains of cottony seeds across your yard. It will be the opposite of your goal for less pollen.
The cottonwood will provide ample shade for your yard with its massive canopy. Additionally, the leaves love to rustle with the wind. They can grow in areas of flooding well, but high winds can lead to branches snapping.
The boxelder is another fast-growing tree. They grow to a height of 60 feet with a canopy spread of 60 feet. Altogether, the boxelder spreads seeds so quickly that some people consider it a weed.
These trees prefer wet soils along rivers and lakes. The box elder can withstand frost and heat well. In fact, it even survives droughts and flooding without much issue.
The boxelder bug plagues female trees which can be a major issue. The males are not nearly as susceptible to it.
Overall, the boxelder is not a beautiful tree. Most would describe it as plain. The leaves, canopy, and trunk are not very attractive. Additionally, it is so invasive that it may destroy other plants around it.
If you are looking for a tree that grows quickly and provides ample cover, this is an excellent tree. Finally, boxelders are very poisonous to horses. So, you will want to avoid them in this instance.
Mulberry trees grow to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Overall, they prefer moist soil with ample drainage. However, mulberry trees are relatively drought-tolerant. If planted with enough space, you will not need to prune this tree at all.
Mulberry trees are naturally occurring throughout much of Asia. Almost all species in the United States were transplanted. Some states have banned the planting of new mulberry trees because of the pollen the trees produce. You will want to check the regulations for your state or city before planting a mulberry tree.
There are fruitless cultivars that will further protect you from pollen. These ones are usually not illegal to plant. Even fruitless mulberry bushes are attractive trees. Altogether, they grow to a medium height but will spread quickly if they can reproduce.
4. White Ash
The white ash is a beautiful medium-sized tree. White ash trees grow to 80 feet in height and 50 feet in width. It grows at a slower rate than the other trees on our list. In fact, white ashes only grow one to two feet per year.
Arborists consider both the male and female forms to be ornamental. The white ash also produces superb shade underneath its canopy. The leaves of the white ash are massive, measuring 15 inches in length.
The white ash is picky about its environment. It does not do well in areas of extreme frost or heat. The white ash is native to the United States. Altogether, you will find it growing across the eastern half of the United States from Alabama to Maine.
All ash trees are susceptible to the emerald ash borer. The best way to protect your ash tree is by planting it as a singular tree. Currently, ash trees in eleven states are infected by the emerald ash borer.
The yew tree produces seeds inside of a red berry. Only the male trees produce pollen. Therefore, planting a female tree will protect you from pollen in the air. The yew tree is the only conifer on our list.
Yew trees grow to 60 feet in height and 60 feet wide. They naturally grow in Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, they grow well across the United States.
Yew needles and seeds are toxic to all humans and animals. You will want to use caution when planting these trees in your yard. Children and pets may suffer digestive issues if they consume any needles.
Many gardeners choose yew trees for privacy hedges because they grow tall and wide. It is a great choice for planting close to your home because the roots are less likely to damage foundations.
Finally, yew trees grow in most environments. Extreme frost and heat can damage the yew tree. However, it can tolerate drought and minor flooding well.