En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - September 04, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: How far east to avoid Ashe juniper pollen from Austin?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How far East of San Antonio and Austin do I have to go to avoid the pollen of Juniperus Ashei? Is Bastrop county safe? I'd be happy if it were gone 90% of the winter days - will the wind keep it away from Bastrop?

ANSWER:

How about Shreveport, Louisiana?

Another common name of Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper) is Mountain Cedar. According to this article from Conifer Reproductive Biology  Cedar Fever: Juniperus Ashei Pollen on the rise:

"Mountain cedar’s allergen-laden pollen is capable of moving at least 500 km from source and its concentrations are highest at night. This means that others outside of central Texas and Oklahoma suffer too."

We had to do a little math, but 500 km is approximately 312 miles, so the 327 miles from Austin to Shreveport would give you a little leeway.

In Central Texas, mountain cedar pollens appear as early as October, peak in January, remain elevated until April, and are occasionally seen as late as May. So, from October until maybe May, you would have a heck of a commute.

A close relative of Ashe juniper, Juniperus pinchotii (Pinchot's juniper), is found to the north of us, in the Panhandle of Texas, and usually begins pollinating a little earlier. So, the first cool front coming down from the northwest is going to get the meteorologists talking about the "redberry juniper" in the pollen count. From austinallergies.com, Has Cedar Fever Come Early gives you some more information on where that pollen originates. 

So, if you move to Bastrop, TX, the juniper pollen is going to get you from the west and from the north. Sorry.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Juniperus ashei

Juniperus ashei

Juniperus pinchotii

Juniperus pinchotii

 


 

 

More Trees Questions

Names of native plants in Garland, Texas
October 31, 2008 - We are building a new Assisted Living & Memory Care community in Garland Texas. We typically name the different floor plans after trees, plants or flowers indigenous or native to the area. Can you pr...
view the full question and answer

Redwood as a Screening Tree for Santa Cruz Garden?
January 20, 2015 - I have a small yard in Santa Cruz, CA and we have to hide/distract from a power line. My husband is demanding a redwood. Is this sane? The space it will have to grow in is about 20x20. What species of...
view the full question and answer

Tree roots breaking surface in Allen, TX
March 09, 2009 - I live in Northern Texas, near Dallas. My questions concerns a tree in my front yard that now has roots that break the surface of the soil and grass. I would like to cover the roots. Should I cover...
view the full question and answer

Has Texas Black Persimmon been crossed with non-native persimmons from Austin
August 17, 2013 - Hi. I just found a Texas Black Persimmon in my neighborhood. The fruit is olive green and then black, then it explodes into a black slurry of seeds and syrup. The color is so strong I find myself wond...
view the full question and answer

Japanese maple in New York
August 15, 2008 - I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center