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Native to North America, cottonwood trees (aka poplars) are fast growing varieties that provide ample shade.1,2 Some species can reach 100 feet in height.2 While known for their cotton-like seeds, the trees pollinate before their cottony fluff is released into the air.2,3 Cottonwoods are wind pollinated, and their pollen is considered moderately allergenic.3
Cottonwoods are native to North America.1
Many patients with cottonwood tree allergy can experience symptoms when exposed to other allergens such as tree, weed, or grass pollens, making it difficult to determine which pollen is causing the symptoms, especially when pollen seasons are overlapping. This is called cross-reactivity and occurs when your body's immune system identifies the proteins, or components, in different substances as being structurally similar or biologically related, thus triggering a response.9 Other respiratory allergens that may cause reactions associated with cottonwood tree pollen allergy include poplars, willows, and limited other tree, weed, and grass pollens.10
The management of allergic rhinitis includes avoidance of relevant allergens, symptomatic treatment, and allergen immunotherapy.6-8
Cottonwood tree allergy symptoms can be similar to many other pollen allergies and may include:4,6
If you’re sensitized to cottonwood trees and have asthma, tree pollen may trigger or worsen asthma symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.4,6
Together with your symptom history, skin-prick testing or specific IgE blood testing can help determine if you are sensitized to a particular allergen. If you are diagnosed with an allergy, your healthcare provider will work with you to create a management plan.
While tree pollen is common in the spring, cottonwoods typically pollinate February to May.4,5