It’s that time of year that many people bring live Christmas trees into their homes. But a few days later, many people who suffer from allergies and asthma start to notice more symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, or wheezing. Did you know that increased allergy symptoms because of Christmas trees and wreaths are usually due to mold spores, and not tree pollen itself?  While it’s possible to be allergic to many seasonal plants like pine tree pollen, usually the mold spores on the plant are what is causing the increased symptoms.  In fact, true allergy to pine tree pollen is less common than many people think!

If you really want the “real thing” in your house during the holidays, there are thankfully many steps you can take to reduce allergens in the air.  First, hosing down a live Christmas tree and letting it fully dry outdoors can remove a significant amount of pollen, dust, and mold spores on the tree. Shaking the tree vigorously can help this as well. You can also spray live trees with a dilute bleach solution to kill and reduce mold spores. Mold spores will continue to reproduce, so if you feel your allergy symptoms are worse, it’s important to remove the tree from the home as soon as the holiday is over.