Alder Tree Pollen

Alder tree catkins

Alder tree catkins

Alder tree and shrubs are deciduous and mostly native to north temperate locations with cool, moist soil. They are part of the Betulaceae family that also includes: birch, hornbeam, hop-hornbeam, and hazel trees.

Alder trees, like birch trees, are used for landscaping as well as:

  • Clog making
  • Toy making
  • Timber
  • Firewood
  • Their tannin content for turning hides into leather and dyeing linens
  • Making charcoal to flavor meat or fish

When is alder tree pollen season?

Since alder trees are in the same family as birch trees they are very similar. Like birch tree pollen, alder tree pollen is produced by their flowers, called catkins, which is released in the winter, as early as January, to  spring depending on climate. Catkins are a long spherical flower that doesn’t actually look like a flower (see the picture above). Once the alder tree pollen is released it’s carried by the wind for the purpose of pollinating the female part of the tree for reproduction, also called a catkin. Unfortunately, the wind also blows alder tree pollen into your home, on your clothes, and into the air where it will enter your nose, throat, and lungs. For this reason, many people experience allergies to the birch tree pollen.

Which foods have cross-reactions with alder tree pollen?

Cross-reactions between alder tree pollen and foods can occur due to something known as oral allergy syndrome. With oral allergy syndrome you may experience an itchy mouth after eating raw fruits, vegetables, or nuts. (For more information on oral allergy syndrome click here). If you have a alder tree pollen allergy you may experience cross-reactions with one or more of these foods:  almond, aniseed, apple, apricot, caraway, carrot, celery, cherry, coriander, fennel, hazelnut, kiwi, parsley, peach, pear, peanut, plum, and soybean. (To see a detailed oral allergy syndrome food list please click here).

Still have questions about alder tree pollen?

For more information regarding the diagnosis of alder tree pollen allergies related to oral allergy syndrome please click here.

For more information regarding the treatment of alder tree pollen allergies related to oral allergy syndrome please click here.

For more information regarding alder tree pollen allergies related to hay fever please click here.


Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition. Click here to read the full disclaimer.


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