S.F. Bay Area Pollen Count

two microscopes, a laptop, and an air sampler

Pollen counts as a % of the season’s peak load of the plant.

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Click on the tree name to see what it looks like!

The S.F. Bay Area Pollen Count Commentary

We do regular air sampling and tree inspections throughout the Bay Area for the benefit of the local community.

The Bay Area is home to many native trees like Cypress, Redwoods, Western Sycamore, and California live oaks. All produce an abundance of pollen. However, the major source of allergenic pollen in the region is all imports from the other part of the world.

Many species of alder, birch, elm, casuarina, olive, celtis, privet, and pistache are all non-native to the Bay Area and contribute heavily to the Bay Area pollen count.

Grass pollen season generally starts mid-March and lasts until the end of July.

The weed pollen generally remains low to moderate here. Nettle, sagebrush, dock, pigweed, and English plantain are often seen in our air surveys, albeit in small numbers. In four years of air surveys in the Bay Area, I have never caught ragweed pollen, which leads me to believe that we do not have ragweed in the area.

Our Methodology

We use a combination of air sampling and plant inspections to identify which plants are releasing pollen.

We refrain from using the traditional high, medium, and low classifications because they are rather meaningless for an allergy sufferer. The concentration scales of high-medium-low are designed for academics and not for allergy sufferers. Besides, what is a low count for one person can be very high for someone with strong allergies.

If you are still curious, you can read more about our methodology here.

Sudhir Setia

Sudhir is certified by the National Allergy Bureau (NAB) as a pollen counter and identifier. He has been living with Hay Fever for nearly 30 years and studies allergens at his aerobiology lab.

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