If you live in Central Texas, you're all too familiar with the term Cedar Fever. For those not familiar with the term, Cedar Fever is the Texas version of hay fever -- except that a tree pollinating in the winter causes the symptoms. Mountain cedar, or Juniperus ashei, is unusual in that the tree pollinates in the wintertime, typically when no other significant pollens are present in the air. Mountain cedar trees release enormous amounts of pollen into the air, and people living in areas such as Austin, San Antonio or Dallas may experience severe symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma during the winter months as a result.
Other parts of the country have other species of Juniper trees, such as Arizona Cypress in Northern Arizona, and Western Juniper here along the Northern California coastline. Most of these Juniper trees cross-react, meaning that if you're allergic to one type of Juniper tree, you're likely allergic to all of them. So, if you're planning on a trip to Central Texas this winter, and you suffer from seasonal allergies, don't forget to pack your box of Kleenex. You never know when Cedar Fever might strike!