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TOPIC: Allergic reaction to trees

Allergic reaction to trees 6 years 9 months ago #130897

  • treeman
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What other allergic reaction to trees are there? Here are some ones I know about.

1. Sycamore trees. There is a dust on the underside of the leaves that can be a respiratory irritant in the spring. It manifests is a hacking cough that no water can put out. People have been known to die from extreme cases. A dust mask is the most simple solution and seasonal climbing of the tree seems to be a way to deal with this tree.

2. Black walnut trees. Here’s one I am allergic to. The leaves make be break out like poison ivy. These trees have a toxin as well, as known by the Native Americans who would pulverize the hulls and toss them into streams thus killing fish that would float to the top for collection. The hulls will also thwart any kind of plant survival other than the black walnut species.

3. White oak pollen. Here’s a new one for me. This tree’s pollen is rated number 3 for asthma sufferers. It’s somewhere about 23% for cause of this illness. I read this in Consumer Reports health newsletter. No other oaks were mentioned. Anyone know this?

I know the tropics have some really nasty trees that cause reactions. Let’s stick to the temperate forests for now. Who knows anything?
Waving from a treetop,
Peter Treeman Jenkins
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 6 years 9 months ago #130901

  • burrdoc
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Question? Do we include toxic trees? If so, I would like to nominate the Ohio Buckeye (also known as the Stinking Buckeye).
Let's see...the bark and fruit (called buckeyes b/c they resemble the eye of a deer) contain the glucoside aesculin which is poisonous to cattle, pigs, horses and people. The tree usually is smallish w/ extroadinarily weak wood. Farmers often fell them so their livestock won't eat the fruit which even squirrels won't touch.
Why Ohio would pick it as a state symbol is beyond me. The term fetid or stinking comes from the fact that crushing the bark yields a nasty odor.
Of course, my opinion might be biased being a native Kentuckian and all:lol:
Randy
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 6 years 9 months ago #130902

In sub tropical florida there is atree called sily oak which is not an oak, but will cause a poison ivy-like rash. I couldn't work with it at all when I lived there. :pinch:
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 6 years 9 months ago #130903

Sycamore the worst I've dealt with. I get rashes from spruce, juniper and pines. I always keep a dust mask when I'm working with Sycamore (Idaho we have more plane trees. Ive noticed a occasional reaction to walnut. But I deal with them about once a week. I've had more issues with thing living in the trees. Dusts, molds, bird and other animal droppings.:(
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 6 years 9 months ago #130906

I can attest to the Sycamore tree dust. Once I pruned about 150 feet of photinia hedge growing under Sycamores on a hot August day. The dust got all over me as I was sweating from trying to rake the clipping off of the top of the hedge.I itched all over and my eyes felt like they were filled with sand. The only thing that comes close in my recollection was the time I crawled around under a mobile home for a whole day replacing pipes. We had to remove the insulation first...

The Tangler
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 3 years 11 months ago #134920

  • 2chops
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I've never had a reaction from sycamore dust on the leaves. And I climb these all the time. One of my faves. However, I do get a nasty case of the sneezes when running it through the chipper on a trim job. Once the dust settles though all's well.
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 3 years 10 months ago #134928

Did you mean Silk Oak? Yes, I found out the hard way that I was alergic. I had to cut one down and got the sawduct all over.

I would add Ficus and Fig trees. I have gotten a blistering response from the sap. I always use gloves now.
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 3 years 10 months ago #134932

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I developed allergies back in 1989 after working in the trees since 1978. The allergist did scratch tests of many different allergens and ranked them from severity of reaction. The first 8 of the top 14 were all trees, followed by the usual cat and dog dander, dust mite excretions rag weed, etcetera.

Once I moved on to a career in nursing, started a series of de-sensitization shots, and dropped back to occasional tree work the trees were not as much of a problem. The supposition was the cumulative exposure to the micro-particles of sawdust was in some way causing the sensitivity.

Oak (black) sawdust still gives me wicked headaches while staining my skin a nice purple color, red cedar makes me break out from contact dermatitis, and the latex-like sap of the Osage Orange causes a mild rash reaction, also. No problem with sycamore, but locust makes me sneeze repeatedly.
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 3 years 10 months ago #134933

I have been working in the trees for the last couple years and Sycamore is the only one to give me trouble. I had a ground crew react to Black Cottonwood and False Cypress though. I have been working in landscapes for over 20 years and do notice an increase in my general sensitivity.. maybe it does build up. How did the transition to nursing go by the way??
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Re:Allergic reaction to trees 3 years 10 months ago #134934

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thetangler wrote:
I have been working in the trees for the last couple years and Sycamore is the only one to give me trouble. I had a ground crew react to Black Cottonwood and False Cypress though. I have been working in landscapes for over 20 years and do notice an increase in my general sensitivity.. maybe it does build up. How did the transition to nursing go by the way??

There are many parallels between arboreal health care and human health care. And marked differences. The attention to details and listening to every aspect of a situation is the same whether climbing and/or falling a dangerous tree and dealing with the care of a patient in an ICU setting. One skill set informs the other and vice versa...
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