Yes, it’s kind of a ‘grinchly’ thing to say but when the Christmas tree is set up in the home a segment of the population seems to experience a rise in allergic symptoms like itchy watery eyes, coughing, and the sniffles.
It’s hard to tell exactly what the source of the problem is but when it comes to both real and artificial trees the two most probable culprits are mold and dust.
For real trees mold is simply a part of nature and it’s very unlikely that during the time they are cut, stored and purchased that mold will just go away. Even if the mold level is low on the day a tree enters a home it could grow dramatically throughout the following few weeks.
Combine mold growth with the fact the tree is sitting in the center of an enclosed home and you have what could be a nightmare for people with allergic sensitivities.
When an artificial tree is being used allergies could be from mold but the deciding factor is usually dust related and directly connected to where the tree came from and how it was stored.
As we all know dust allergies are extremely common and no matter how well a home is kept once a tree that’s been sitting in the basement or attic for the last eleven months gets brought upstairs its prime material for an allergy attack.
That said, the best way to try and preempt issues from mold and dust on both real and artificial trees is before bringing them into the house hose them down well outside and let them dry in the sun. It may not remove mold permanently but will significantly reduce spores and wash away dust.
That way when the family and friends are gathered for pictures and the kids are dressed up in Le Top’s elves or Santa’s little helper outfits playing around the tree everyone will breathe easier enjoying the time together.
Finally, if you are worried about pollen check with the seller as to the variety of trees available since most blossom other times of the year and shouldn’t cause concern. Aside from pollen additional rare allergies that arise around Christmas from the tree are connected to sap and to pine itself.