High Pollen Count in North Central Florida Likely Due to Tree "Masting"
Published March 27th, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It's that time of year: pollen is making its presence known across North Central Florida, and for some residents the problem seems worse than ever.
A slight yellow film can be found on top of most cars around Gainesville, leading to big business for many area car washes.
The owner of the Tropic Car Wash on Archer Road says his sales have picked up by at least 30 percent over the past few weeks.
Forest experts say the perceived increase in pollen this year could be the result of a natural tree process called "masting".
"Every couple of years, the oaks will produce an overabundance of acorns in that given year," said Dr. Michael Andreu, an associate professor of forest systems at the University of Florida. "That way, they overwhelm the predators," he said.
Dr. Andreu says acorns develop from pollen, which is why the trees seem to be dropping more of it.
He predicts the pollen season should start winding down within the next few weeks -- just in time for the annual lovebug invasion.
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