What’s going on?
A California horticulturist has a theory about what’s causing your allergies: too many “male” trees.
Thomas Leo Ogren has been researching the number of “male” (pollen-releasing) trees that are planted vs. the number of “female” (fruit-producing) trees. Because people are planting trees instead of letting them grow naturally, places with planted trees around the country have an imbalance between male and female trees.
Male trees dominate because they don’t bear seeds, pods and fruit that will have to be cleaned up, but an unnatural majority of male trees means that there’s a lot more pollen in the air that has nowhere to go.
Closing the tree gender gap?
"In order to put the brakes on America’s allergy epidemic, we need to reverse the trend toward male-dominated landscapes and stop selling and planting any more of the most allergenic trees, shrubs and grasses in our cities,” Ogren wrote in Scientific American. “It is time for a less sexually discriminatory planting strategy."
On today’s show, Doc raised tongue-in-cheek awareness about “botanical sexism” and the need to break the tree glass ceiling. Female trees deserve to be equal!