How to use a plant’s allergy rankings to plan your landscaping

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A plant or tree’s OPALS ranking can help us make better decisions about avoiding allergies.

OPALS stands for Ogren Plant Allergy Scale and was developed 20 years ago to classify the potential of different plants for allergy symptoms. Its uses have been endorsed by the USDA, the American Lung Association, and the California Department of Health and Human Services.

Many popular trees in the Central Valley are valued on this scale.

“At the moment: juniper, elm, alder, ash, olive, beech wood, boxelder,” said allergist Dr. Malik Baz.

Dr. Baz says that some pollen is less in the air than others, like fruit trees.

“Apple, cherry, pear or plum. This pollen is so heavy it won’t fly. “

For those with allergies, a bigger problem can be right under your feet.

“Almost all grass produces pollen. Grass pollen flies six to eight miles. Tree pollen two miles. Sometimes 50 miles and ends up in the ocean. And pine pollen can go around the whole world. “

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