Christmas allergies

Hi, I always have a big 11-13 foot live tree but since asthma entered my life I am scared it may not go so well and it's quite costly. Any experiences with live trees to share? I'm thinking of bringing in cuttings first time I see them at lowes or elsewhere


Comments 29

  • Jen

    Would you consider a fake tree?  We went that route years ago.  We had a live tree once and found pine needles in the house for months afterwards. Never again. lol

  • K8sMom2002

    I might try to go stand in the midst of a bunch of live Christmas trees and see how it goes. Do you have any environmental allergies to pine or fir? 

    We have a fake tree — have all my married life because I am horrid about forgetting to water the thing. I splurged on a pre-lit tree during an after Christmas sale a couple of years ago, and I'm in love! It solves a problem or two — one it's easier to put together, and two, the lights change from white to colored, so DH can have his rainbow of lights, and I can have my tasteful white lights. No more arguments about who's right — DH can have the colored lights on when I'm not home.

    Only, this year, that may be a problem, because I telecommute. Teehee!

  • Mandy

    A real tree did not work well for me. My husband was devastated as he loves the real deal but it set me off big time. The smell and pollen…I constrict thinking about it.

  • GigiGibson

    The cedars out in my years and along farm fence lines here in eastern nc and va are the red cedars I'm allergic to. They are actually junipers I hear. The Christmas trees we buy are firs. Do t know if they are related

  • K8sMom2002

    Gosh! How big is your house?? 

    Could you talk to your county extension agent or forestry agency person to find out whether the two or related? Or your allergist. I'll see if I can dig up something on Google later ….

  • K8sMom2002

    My pleasure! I figured they would know more about trees than practically anybody … but I'll still look.

  • K8sMom2002

    Gigi, I found several references to as being hypoallergenic and the best live tree for folks with allergies. Apparently it is a sterile hybrid and can only be propagated from cuttings, so it has no pollen.

    Here are some tips for reducing allergies associated with Christmas …

  • GigiGibson

    Thanks!, these articles were awesome! I'm going to go home the long way one day this week and stop by the Christmas tree farm and tell them what's going on and see if they will email me when they get their first fits in so I can have a branch.  I am going to look into how to spray treat the tree for molds before bringing it in. Our trees are so big they are older and probably moldier. Mold is my biggest allergy so I may need to forego the whole thing:-(

  • K8sMom2002

    I'm wondering (if your lungs could stand it) whether a weak bleach solution sprayed over the tree and added to the water of the tree could make it less mold-friendly. I know I've seen advertisements where you add a small amount of bleach to flower vases …

    How about talking to your doctor or their nurse to see what they recommend? It's probably not the first time they've been asked that question. Keep us posted — I'd hate for you to have to miss out on your traditions this year!

  • Kathy P

    My usual issue with live trees are molds and pollens that are on the tree. When we bring our tree home, we set it up in the stand outside. I then have my dh hose it down completely! This helps gets rid of all the mold and pollen clinging to the needles and branches. We then let it dry a bit before bringing it in the house.

    Once it's in the house, I have not had issues. I'd have to pull out my allergy testing papers to see if I'm allergic to any pine/fir. OK it was a quick find – I don't test positive to any pine/cedar/cypress/juniper.

  • GigiGibson

    Hi Cynthia and Kathy, after all my research it seems the mold is what usually bothers folks. I will insist on a shake down, spray down and a day or two outside to try to rid it of any spores. I think I can handle the bleach solution as I did ok cleaning out the pantry and I wiped down every thing in there with it. It echoes in there now, I have like nothing but cans, lol. Grain mites are gone. 

  • K8sMom2002

    That sounds like a plan! And I'm glad you have banished the bugs!

    When do you usually buy your tree?

  • K8sMom2002

    I know lots of folks who go ahead and put their tree up on the afternoon of Thanksgiving — right after the big dinner. (You can tell I'm from the south, where when we say dinner, we mean lunch on steroids!)

    Do you have a theme for your tree? I don't — it's just "put all my many, many ornaments on it as quickly as possible!" But my sister usually has multiple trees — a white tree of doves, for instance, in her dining room, and then other trees. Yikes, I'm doing good to put up ONE tree. 

    I don't know that she will do it this year, though. She lost her husband this past April, and the holidays will be very sad for her. I'm more than a little worried about this Thanksgiving. If she wants my help to put up six trees at her house, then I will help her put up six trees! 

  • GigiGibson

    Oh Cynthia I am so sorry for your sister. It's gonna be tough. 

    We played a couple Christmas tunes tonight:-). We r Christmas freaks!!!! I change it up a little but it's a variety of all colors. I bought a little tree for lilah last year, she had so much fun taking everything off and handing it to me. Lol, she was only 20 months. She is psyched this year and ready. Gigi can't find her tree! Yikes, I think it's buried in my art room and not the garage. 

    I have an open house to conduct Saturday but perhaps I will find it as she is here this weekend. 

  • K8sMom2002

    You sound like my sister — she adores holidays! Until the last couple of years, when her DH was so sick with cancer, she always threw this huge Christmas brunch for her neighbors and co-workers. And she looks for Christmas ornaments year round, trying to find the absolute perfect one for every family member.

    I hope you find your tree! My mom lost the artificial tree she'd had for years — we still don't know where that sucker went! As for me, I'm hoping my pre-lit tree will still light. I usually put up my Christmas tree the first Saturday in December, as my mom raised us on the tradition that it was bad luck to take your tree down before New Year's. Since my living room is small, I don't want to give over that much space for a tree for any longer than I have to, but I also want to enjoy the tree, yanno?

    What's your favorite Christmas ornament?


  • Shea

    Last year we bought a Norfolk Island Christmas Pine (not a true pine tree, it is native in Australia and they have it on their "Low Allergen Garden" recommendations from their Asthma Foundation, but it is sold as a houseplant at Lowes in November, decorated like a small Christmas Tree. I like it because it is alive and growing, so I am not cutting down any tree, I am growing a new one. I still have mine from last year. It stayed in my front room for half the year, near a window, then I moved it outside. It does not like cold weather–it is and Islander!, but northerners can keep it indoors. If you plant it outside, it can get very tall and look like a big Christmas tree, but in Florida (the lightning capital) they say not to plant it near your home because if lightning strikes it, it could fall, but to me it would cost less damage than most trees and is very wind tolerant and salt-tolerant… a perfect tree for Florida. And I think it would be so cool to have a real growing Christmas tree, so I may plant it this Christmas in my yard. I think it would be cool to buy ANY cool tree that is asthma and allergy-friendly on Christmas, and buy it as a baby tree, nourish it indoors over winter, then plant it in Spring (for those who live up north make sure it is cold tolerant if you plant it outside).

  • GigiGibson

    I love Norfolk Island pines. My sweet grandma died just a few days before Christmas not too many years ago. I didn't want to spend a fortune in dead flowers so I told the florist to decorate a tree with a beloved grandmother banner. She did a pink sash and pink boys all over. Grandma loved pink. It was about four to five feet then, skinny thing. Now it's a monster in my sunroom and every year I still decorate it and we lovingly refer to it as the grandma tree, lol. 


  • K8sMom2002

    Gigi, that is so sweet! I love it! 

    Shea, what a beautiful tree! We actually have a real "Christmas tree" in our front yard, and when DH is feeling frisky, he'll decorate it. I allow him to decorate it with multicolored lights, even though I prefer the tiny white lights myself. 

  • Shea

    Awww, Gigi that is so sweet, a grandma tree, I love that! And K8SMOM that is so cool that you decorate a live Christmas tree in your yard. I am trying to be very environmentally conscious and create a routine and lifestyle and traditions that are true to the meaning behind them and to the health of the planet AND myself )with my allergies). It can be challenging, but fun too, and it THAT much more meaningful when all those things are in alignment.

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, it's not ME who's decorating the tree — I leave that one up to my DH. And with all the lights he puts on it, I don't know that it actually qualifies as environmentally friendly.  

    He originally planted the tree when our DD was little, so that they could decorate it together. That's the special part about it to me. It's "their" tree.

  • Shea

    Gotcha I still put crazy lights up too lol.. I figure growing a tree offsets that electricity use. (Not all my traditions are exactly environmentally-friendly, but I try where I can, lol!)

  • K8sMom2002

    Hey, it's Christmas! We can off-set our environmentally unfriendly Christmas practices (lots of lights, lots of wrapping paper that's used only once) in a variety of ways the rest of the year so we're not totally bah-humbugs!