While much of the U.S. is still battling winter snows and cold temperatures, the spring pollen season gets underway in the South.
Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), native to Eastern Oklahoma and other parts of the south and widely-used as an ornamental, is among the earliest trees to pollinate. We have even seen this tree pollinating in January. Concentrations are typically low but the presence of this pollen type indicates that others are soon to follow.
American elm (Ulmus americana)
Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Both American elm and eastern red cedar also begin pollinating in February and often reach their seasonal peak during the end of February or the beginning of March. The start date of the pollen season is highly variable and relates to the winter weather. Both plants need a period of warm-up after winter dormancy. Go to the individual pages for eastern red cedar and elm to see the variability that we have noted in the past. Both species are major spring pollinators. In terms of yearly abundance these are typically 3rd and 4th on the list right behind oak and ragweed.
The day to day release of pollen is also weather dependent. During February cold wintery weather is common, and this will shut down pollen release.