The following table shows the risk level for each type of pollen derived by applying NAB guidelines to our data and taking percentile values from the extended season for each type of pollen.
Severity of pollen is dictated by the PPM number, which stands for Pollen Grains Per Cubic Metre. The weather and time of day can also be a big factor when it comes to how the pollen count can affect you. As pollen falls to the ground when the heat dissipates during the evening, this can mean your seasonal allergy symptoms get worse and is why many allergy sufferers have worse symptoms in the night. On rainy days, you’ll find your allergy symptoms are easier to manage as rain tends to wash pollen away.
Weed pollen boosts pollen levels in April through May, but drops off toward the end of spring. Even though pollen from grass still picks up around this time, pollen counts typically stay lower from June to January. That said, if you want to keep seasonal allergies at bay during the months with high pollen counts, you might want to stay indoors, steer clear of parks and grassy areas, and have allergy relief at the ready.
Types of Pollen
We’ve taken a closer look at the types of pollen out there to help you narrow down which ones will have you reaching for the tissues.
AshAsh trees come in a variety of species (45 to 60 species worldwide), but the most common in Canada is white ash. Ash trees can be found just about anywhere. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, ash trees can produce pollen at almost any time of year depending on the species, but peak primarily in the spring. Ash tree allergy symptoms you might experience include runny nose, coughing, congestion and sneezing. To help avoid some of these symptoms, do your best to stay indoors. If these symptoms become difficult to manage on your own, ask your doctor if allergy medication might be best for you.Peak Season : Spring
BirchBirch trees grow in every region of Canada, making them particularly hard to avoid. Birch tree pollen peaks during March to June across Western, Eastern and Atlantic Canada. If you’re allergic to birch tree pollen, you might experience symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, runny nose and watery eyes. Sign up for pollen alerts in your area, and help manage your allergy symptoms by keeping your windows and doors closed as much as possible.Peak Season : Late Winter to Spring
ElmElm trees come from a family of about 35 species. They pollinate mostly in February (sometimes as late as April). However, pollination can still occur at any time of year. If you’re allergic to elm trees, you might endure symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing and itchy throat, nose and eyes. Help prevent allergy symptoms by getting personalized pollen alerts and limiting time outdoors when levels are high. You’ll want to wash your bedding and clothes more often too!Peak Season : Winter and Late Summer
PinePine Trees can be found growing throughout Canada. Fortunately, pine pollen allergies are fairly uncommon, but people can be severely allergic to pine nuts. Pine pollen allergy symptoms can include itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion and coughing. Pine nut allergy symptoms can be as severe as other nut allergies, including symptoms such as anaphylaxis, tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing. To try to evade pine pollen allergies, get personalized alerts about the pollen count in your area and do your best to stay indoors when pine pollen levels are high.Peak Season : Spring to Early Summer
PoplarPoplar trees can be found all over Canada, as it is a popular tree used in landscaping. The most common species of poplar in North America is the Quaking Aspen. Poplar trees typically begin to pollinate in February and continue through May. If you’re suffering from poplar tree allergy symptoms, you might experience coughing, congestion, sneezing and itchy throat, nose and eyes. You can help manage these symptoms by avoiding peak pollen levels with personalized pollen alerts for your area. Cleaning your house often and doing laundry more frequently can also provide relief, as well.Peak Season : Spring
JuniperJuniper trees produce pollen grains about 20 to 30 micrometers in size (making them barely visible to the naked eye), which is small enough to become airborne and impact allergy sufferers from miles and miles away. Symptoms from juniper tree pollen allergies can include congestion, sneezing, sore throat and even dark circles under the eyes! To help relieve some of these symptoms, keep your doors and windows closed, dust and clean more frequently, and wash bedding and clothes more often. When you do step out, wearing a mask might help too.Peak Season : Winter to Late Spring
MapleMaple trees can be found just about anywhere in the country and are considered an important symbol of Canada. Maple trees pollinate in March and continue through June. Unfortunately, maple tree pollen is extremely allergenic and can travel for miles, making them difficult to avoid for allergy sufferers. If allergic, you might experience symptoms like runny nose, coughing, congestion, sneezing and watery eyes. For a bit of relief, close your windows and doors. Keep your house clean and shower more frequently to ensure pollen doesn’t linger after stepping outside.Peak Season : Spring
OakOak trees come from a family of 450 species and can be found all over Canada. Oak tree pollen is highly allergenic and has a long allergy season, stretching from February all the way through to July. If you’re allergic to oak tree pollen, you might face allergy symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing and itchy throat, nose and eyes. Be sure to sign up for personalized pollen alerts for your area so you can avoid or limit exposure during peak pollen levels. Clean often and avoid bringing pollen indoors by removing “outside” clothes like shoes, jackets and hats.Peak Season : Winter to Spring
RagweedRagweed is a weed that grows throughout Canada, especially in rural areas. A single ragweed plant can create up to 1 billion pollen grains! This usually happens around August as warm weather, summer breezes and humidity help release their pollen grains. If you're allergic to ragweed, you might face allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, post-nasal drip and itchiness in the eyes, nose and throat. To help keep symptoms at bay, track the pollen count in your area, stay indoors during peak levels and plan ahead when you do step out.Peak Season : Late Summer
PoaceaePoaceae (pronounced “po-see-ay”) commonly known as the grass family of flowering plants. As it’s a large family (over 12,000 species), Poaceae pollen is the leading cause of pollen allergy worldwide! If you’re allergic to Poaceae, you might experience allergy symptoms like itchy throat, runny nose, sneezing, watering eyes, blocked sinuses and headaches. To help alleviate symptoms, cover up when going out to prevent unnecessary contact and remove all outside clothing when returning indoors, but ultimately, you’ll want to try to refrain from going outside if you can avoid it.Peak Season : Late Spring to Early Summer
Tips to Survive High Pollen Count
Allergy season is upon us and for those who suffer from allergies, it can be a tough time of year. But don't worry, there are ways to reduce your symptoms and make it more bearable. Here are some allergy-free tips to help you out
When pollen levels are high, keep Kleenex® Ultra Soft™ Tissues at the ready. They’re allergist approved and hypoallergenic to help conquer allergy season. Place a few boxes around your home to ensure Kleenex Ultra Soft™ tissues are always within arm’s reach.
Don't let allergens take over your home! Keep pollen, dust, dander and other particles at bay with regular cleaning. Vacuum 1 - 2 times a week with a HEPA filter vacuum to help trap allergen particles lingering on carpets and surfaces.
Pollen Pal gives you pollen count levels and weather forecasts in your area, so you can be prepared to take on the outdoors — even with a few allergy symptoms! Sign up to get personalized alerts when pollen levels are at their worst so you can still make the most of your day and the days ahead.
Find Comfort From Allergies with Kleenex®
Seasonal or not, allergy symptoms can take a heavy toll on you. Let Kleenex® facial tissues help relieve some of those symptoms.View all products
Frequently Asked Questions
- Local Pollen traps, where available.
- Weather data and other anthropogenic factors.
- Vegetation related data around your region.
A tree pollen level above 50 is considered high, while one to 10 is considered low. Be sure to check your local pollen count before venturing outside and plan accordingly.