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

Controlling live oak sprouts in Lakeland FL
November 23, 2009 - We had a live oak taken down last year. We now have sprouts we cannot get rid of and they continue to multiply invading the lawn. We did not have this problem so much when the tree was there. Is ther...
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for mature oak for Austin
October 08, 2008 - Mr. smarty pants- We would like to purchase a mature oak tree and have it planted in our yard in Austin. Recommendations, things to be aware of, you know, the general smarty pants treatment. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a moist, wooded area in North Carolina
December 06, 2014 - I am looking to plant some native flowers in a wooded area in Surry County NC. The chosen location is fully shaded beside a creek. The water table typically sets about 2 feet below the surface of th...
view the full question and answer

A Crabapple for the Austin, TX area.
May 06, 2014 - I am in search of crab apples. Don't they grow in Austin? I can not seem to be able to locate any here. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Native wild plum trees for Johnson County, Texas
December 24, 2012 - What native wild plums will grow in southern Johnson County? And where can I find the trees locally? Thank you
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