Misery as cedar pollen explodes

Cedar Pollen - - Bob Ratliff

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Cedar trees apparently enjoyed the weather Friday. The annual mating ritual began in earnest as mild temperatures and sunshine spurred Austin area trees to simultaneously release microscopic grains of cedar in quantities so high, clouds of pollen appeared to be smoke. Allergy and Asthma Associates researchers reported the highest count of the season Friday, 1,114 grains per cubic meter of air.

Cedar pollen is highly allergenic, and causes sinus and respiratory problems for thousands of Central Texans. Conditions may be worse for allergy sufferers Saturday, as a cold front brings gusty northerly winds, which will shake the trees and spread the pollen far and wide.

Very wet weather during the fall is expected to contribute to a worse-than-usual cedar fever season. January is the peak month for cedar pollination, and even higher counts are likely this month.

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