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Spring Snow – Poplar Tree Distress

spring snow

Did we get spring snow? Not really. It’s just tons of fluff flying off our poplar tree, making us sneeze and making our outdoor activities miserable.

We live next to a fifty foot poplar tree. Some might call it majestic. Charitably, I call it old. To be honest, I think the whole thing looks like a giant upside down weed.

Anyway, every spring this tree provides us with a round of spring snow. Female poplars seed with flowery cotton balls designed to carry seeds a long distance in the wind. Or, in our case, a short distance into our yard.

Normally, spring snow lasts about two weeks with a few really bad days. This year, we have been treated to more than four weeks of havoc. Our deck, lawn, gutters and air conditioner screens were full of fluff and seeds. When it rained, the downspout runoff was literally solid with material.

Although not allergic, the fluff causes watery eyes and runny nose. Something we really don’t want to have during COVID-19. It was virtually impossible for us to visit in the back yard on the deck. Every time you opened your mouth to speak, in came the fluff.

I tried mowing up the fluff or spray the deck with the hose, but within hours the fluff was back.

Spring Snow – Can Trees Get Depressed?

This year our poplar fluff has been particularly bad. I was wondering if there is some sort of cyclical effect going on.

Research informed me that poplar trees tend to give off more seeds and fluff when they are distressed. Ours is not in great shape. Apparently, when poplars are distressed, they have the evolutionary trait of ramping up seeding in an effort to keep the species alive.

When I told my wife this, she wondered if the trees are just depressed from the pandemic.

In the meantime, I am cleaning out my air conditioner screens every few days to make sure they keep working.

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