With all this data floating around, there are some interesting analyses one can do. I came across “The Association of Tree Pollen Concentration Peaks and Allergy Medication Sales in New York City: 2003-2008″ by Perry Sheffield. There they correlate pollen counts with anti-allergy medicine sales – and indeed find that two days after high pollen counts, the medicine sales are the highest.
Of course, it would be interesting to play with the data to see *what* tree is actually causing the sales to increase the most. Perhaps this would help the arborists what trees to plant. At the moment they seem to be following a rather sexist approach to tree planting:
Ogren says the city could solve the problem by planting only female trees, which don’t produce pollen like male trees do.
City arborists shy away from females because many produce messy – or in the case of ginkgos, smelly – fruit that litters sidewalks.
In Ogren’s opinion, that’s a mistake. He says the females only produce fruit because they are pollinated by the males.
His theory: no males, no pollen, no fruit, no allergies.