Preference of male trees planted in cities partly to blame for allergy sufferers

The mild winter we have experienced this season is causing trees in the D.C. area to bloom earlier this year. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, this means the pollen count will be rising earlier too.

However, the weather is not the only thing to blame for high pollen count this spring. Tree experts say the types of trees planted in cities are also responsible for your sniffling and sneezing.

"In this area, we have a high variety of trees that can survive and what is interesting that most people don't know is that certain trees may be male and certain trees may be female," said Rob Dallman of Davey Tree Company.

Despite the fact that male trees are the ones that produce and release pollen, cities prefer planting them over female trees, which are actually helpful in acting as a filter in capturing the pollen.

"What has been a trend in city landscape design for the past 30 to 50 years is that females have kind of found their way out and the males are selected," Dallman said.

Why the preference of male trees? Female trees also produce seeds and fruit, which requires more clean up when they fall to the ground.

So if you are an allergy sufferer considering planting a new tree in your yard or in your neighborhood, the type of tree you grow could make a difference.