Something is blooming, that I can tell you...

Asked February 16, 2016, 1:05 PM EST

I am trying to solve a bit of a mystery here... I have tested negative for the most common allergens in CO twice, yet, almost every year around mid-February, I experience significant symptoms, like right now: scratchy throat and an explosion of sneezing and runny nose. It once happened even as I was skiing in the high country, everything covered by snow except... evergreen trees! It frustrates me that sites that describe allergen from trees only take into considerations deciduous species that grow in urban areas and that sites that report allergens in the air go dormant in winter and only wake up when pollen hits the fan for the 90% of the population. I may be in a niche 10%, but I want to know! There's a possible thesis work for some willing student: find out what's in the air in February and March, especially in the mountains around here (and therefore in Denver when the winds pick up). Given how unseasonably warm it's been, I would not be surprised to learn that something is blooming fairly ahead of normal schedule. Has this been done already? Where would I look for published papers? Is there somebody I can talk to about all this? :-)

Denver County Colorado

4 Responses

Hi there,

I also get allergies in February and March! Unfortunately we do not have any CSU Extension resources about winter allergies. I would contact a medical professional for more information but tree pollen is a possibility.

I hope this helps.

Hi Daniel,
I already tried medical professionals, they're powerless/clueless. They don't know what else to do but run the usual panel of 20/30 most common allergens, and mine ain't in those.
I was hoping for scientists that are knowledgeable about plants and their blooming, specifically trees that grow in the Colorado Rockies. I thought that this posting was going to put me in touch with plants experts at CU...
Denver, CO

Hi Leonardo,

Here is a list of some individuals that may be able to help you:

They should know about when the evergreen trees are producing pollen.

Thank you so much.

Just a quick note - silver maples are blooming now, males shedding pollen. It may be that you are sensitive to the airborne pollen of silver maple, a tree that is widely planted in Denver.