It's April and Arbor Day is coming up this month so it's got us thinking about trees and selecting the right tree. There's a lot to consider but maybe two characteristics you might not have thought about. Travis McDonald from Davey Tree Expert Company points out that allergies and pollinators are certainly a part of the conversation.
Trees are either wind pollinated or insect pollinated. If you're looking to avoid adding pollen around your home and therefore increase the allergy factor you'd want to avoid planting more wind pollinated trees. The rule of thumb for identifying a wind pollinated tree is when the tree flowers before the leaves emerge in the spring. These are often trees that produce seeds like acorns in teh summer and fall. Examples of wind pollinated trees are maple, oak, elm, pine and spruce. But while not great for allergies wind pollinated trees are certainly beneficial to some. The seeds they produce are a big food source for foresting animals.
In addition to avoiding allergy triggers, selecting an insect pollinated tree also provides food and habitat for our pollinators. Insect pollinated trees do not contribute to seasonal allergies. Examples of insect pollinated trees are redbud, crabapple, magnolia, etc. The rule of thumb for identifying an insect pollinated tree is one with a showy flower. No surprise there.
Fun fact: Redbud is the clear favorite among Travis, Bobby and Laura in the flowering tree category. What's yours?
Follow these steps from Davey Tree Expert Company for how to properly plant a tree. Happy Arbor Day!