Which trees should I avoid planting if I have tree allergies?

Trees for Energy Conservation April 27, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Trees produce a lot of pollen at certain times of year. However, some trees are "dioecious," meaning they have either male or female reproductive parts, not both, like monoecious species. If you can find a dioecious tree that is a female cultivar, it will not produce pollen. This can be helpful when selecting trees for planting.  


The National Institute for Environmental Health Studies recommends that people with tree pollen allergies avoid the following trees:

  • Catalpa
  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Olive
  • Pecan
  • Pine
  • Sycamore
  • Walnut 
  • The males of ash, boxelder, hickory, and maple.

If you are considering planting trees in your yard, look for species that are less likely to cause allergic reactions. Recommendations include:

  • Crape myrtle
  • Dogwood
  • Fig
  • Fir
  • Palm
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Redbud
  • Redwood
  • The female cultivars of ash, boxelder, cottonwood, maple, palm, poplar, and willow.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.