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Christmas Tree Allergies

Christmas Tree Allergies

It is the holidays and Christmas is around the corner. People are getting ready for Christmas by finishing their shopping and gift wrapping. Everyone also already has their Christmas decorations up, along with their Christmas tree. Christmas trees are a must to complete the holiday spirit and décor. Have you ever wondered how long it takes to grow a real Christmas tree or where your artificial one comes from? Here we will take a look at a brief background on real and artificial Christmas trees. We will also look at some of the reasons why some people are allergic to Christmas trees and ways to prevent them.

Background on Christmas Trees

Many families opt to get a real Christmas tree. Today, most real Christmas trees come from farms that usually grow evergreen trees. Besides the evergreen trees, cherry and hawthorn trees has been used as Christmas trees in the past. Some of the most popular Christmas evergreen trees are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, and Virginia pine. It takes around six to ten years for a Christmas tree to fully mature. Trees are typically harvested when they are six to seven feet tall. Another option to real Christmas trees is the use of artificial trees. Today, most artificial Christmas trees are made from PVC plastic. Many PVC artificial Christmas trees are fire retardant, but are not fire resistant.

Reasons Why You Could be Allergic to your Christmas Tree

If you have a real Christmas tree, some of the reasons you can be allergic to it is because mold and mold spores can be found in the branches and foliage of tree. Additionally, other known causes of Christmas tree allergies are tree sap and pollen which is scattered in the air during the fall season. A compound called terpenes that gives pine trees their characteristic scent can also cause allergic reactions. Chemicals used at Christmas tree farms may also cause skin and eye irritation as well. With artificial Christmas trees and storage over an extended period of time, artificial Christmas trees can have dust mite allergens.

Ways to Prevent Christmas Tree Allergies

Some of the ways to help prevent Christmas tree related allergies can be through thoughtful preparations. If you know you are especially sensitive to mold, pollen, and terpenes, you should try to avoid using fresh Christmas trees, boughs, and wreaths. If you are prone to these allergies you should choose to get an artificial Christmas tree. Artificial Christmas trees are usually free of outdoor allergens. However, artificial Christmas trees can also have dust mite allergens. But with proper care and storage of the artificial Christmas tree, dust can be avoided. You can store your artificial Christmas tree in a dry, cool space with tree sections in a box, tree storage bag, or sealed plastic bag to keep dust from accumulating on the tree while in storage. You can also clean the artificial branches and foliage with a dry cloth before decorating your tree.

You can reduce your Christmas tree related allergies by implementing some of these tips. If you continue to have allergies during this holiday time, give our Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group team a call. We can help answer your questions and set up an appointment for you with one of our specialists. Give us a call at 805-658-9500 today!