Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Forestry Commission wants to advise you about the plume of pollen that's floated around the Midlands for the last week.
Pollen is everywhere! When will it be gone and how do you deal with it?
Here are a few facts from the SC Forestry Commission:
· The pollen should be gone by the end of the month, statewide.
· The yellow pollen comes from male flowers of pine trees releasing gametes (sperm cells) en masse.
· Insects/birds do not aid pollination of pine trees, so the wind-born pollen must spread far and wide to reach as many other trees as possible.
· Pines trees are monoecious -- each tree has both male and female reproductive structures. They can self-pollinate.
· Most trees are monoecious -- some species like red cedar, persimmon, and ash are dioecious with male and female structures on separate plants.
· Pollinated pines produce pine cones which contain fertilized seeds. These drop to the ground and often produce young trees.
· Pine pollen is usually not the culprit in allergic reactions, as the granules are much larger than other species which trigger reactions, such as oak.
Pine pollen, while frustrating this time each year, is the "color of money" in South Carolina! Forestry and timber-related businesses constitute the number one manufacturing industry in the state in terms of jobs and payroll-- with a $17.45 billion impact on the state's economy.
Some advice for dealing with the pollen:
· Keep windows closed in your home and car and use your car's "recirculate" feature on the climate control system
· Plan outdoor activities for as late in the day as possible
· Give the lawn mower and leaf blower some time off
· Wash your clothing after being outside for longer periods of time
· Wash your pet after being outside for longer periods of time
· Wash your hair daily, if spending time outdoors
· Avoid going outdoors if it's windy
· Cross your fingers for a good rain shower soon!