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Tree Pollen Allergy

Pollen is a very fine powder produced by trees and other plants to help grow and reproduce themselves. Because of its microscopic size, it travels easily through the air. Everyone breathes in tree pollen, but not everyone reacts to it. If you have a pollen allergy and go outside on a day when the pollen count is high, you’re likely to experience irritating symptoms like watery eyes or a runny nose. 

There are hundreds of trees that release pollen that can trigger your allergic reactions. Some of these include:

  • Box Elder
  • Cedar 
  • Cottonwood
  • Cypress
  • Elm
  • Hickory 
  • Maple
  • Mulberry
  • Oak
  • Olive 
  • Pecan
  • Walnut

Tree pollens, like grass and weed pollens, can travel far on windy days, so your reactions may not be because of the trees in your yard or neighborhood. The source of your allergies could actually come from trees miles away. Click on your location to view a list of the allergens tested in your region.

Common tree allergy symptoms

Tree pollen is a frequent cause of allergy symptoms. Common tree pollen allergy symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy throat
  • Irritated eyes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

And if you’re allergic to tree pollen, inhaling it can also increase asthmatic reactions.1

Other cross-reactive symptoms

If you have a tree pollen allergy and have experienced an itchy mouth or throat after eating fresh fruit or raw vegetables, you may have Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). OAS is a cross-reaction that can occur when someone who is allergic to tree pollen eats certain fruits, vegetables, nuts or beans and has an allergic response. For example, if you're allergic to trees, you may have had a scratchy throat after eating apples, apricots, carrots, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, mangoes or pears.

Learn more about OAS

Seasonal allergies

It happens at the same time every year, without fail—you get cold-like symptoms. But maybe it’s not a cold—maybe it’s a seasonal allergy. A seasonal allergy is a result of coming into contact with something that you’re allergic to that’s only around during a specific time of the year. A common example is pollen season.

Seasonal allergies are sometimes called seasonal allergic rhinitis or more commonly known, hay fever (although they have nothing to do with hay or fevers). They are also sometimes called outdoor, fall, or spring allergies.

Am I allergic?

You may be so used to dealing with your congestion and irritated eyes that you might not consider asking for help. Learning if you have a specific tree pollen allergy, to birch or olive tree for example, is the first step to minimizing your symptoms. How do you know if your symptoms are caused by a tree pollen allergy or not? Testing can help your healthcare professional determine what’s behind the endless sneezing and sniffles, so don’t try to manage the problem on your own. A simple blood test—together with your medical history—can help identify underlying allergen triggers, if you have an allergy. And a blood test can be done even when you are taking antihistamines.2 Knowing if you’re allergic and what you’re allergic to can help you, or a loved one, avoid or minimize symptoms.

Learn more about testing

Experience the comfort and convenience of an online diagnosis from a healthcare professional directly from your phone.


  1. Baxi S, Phipatanakul W, The Role of Allergen Exposure and Avoidance in Asthma. Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2010 Apr; 21(1): 57–ix.
  2. Allergy blood testing: A practical guide for clinicians. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2011 September;78(9):585-592.
  3. Allergic Living. “Oral Allergy: Plants, Foods That Cross-React.” Allergic Living, 27 Mar. 2017, allergicliving.com/2010/08/30/the-cross-reactors/.