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PostSubject: Allergies in Kashmir - reply   Wed May 20, 2009 5:18 am

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Pollen Allergy

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This refers to your front page news regarding pollen allergy. Certain details need be rectified. The floss in the atmosphere nowadays is not the pollen of poplars. It is the seed which gets disbursed along with the floss. This seed is produced by the female cultivars of poplars and we have only female cultivars of exotic poplars in Kashmir. The only way to get rid of this floss is that we should propagate the native poplars i.e. Populus ciliata and Populus balsamifera. In these native poplars we have both female and male cultivars. It is true that they grow slow, but we can improve their growth by selection etc. The exotic poplar grown in the Valley has the origin of USA, where it is known as Eastern cotton wood i.e Populus deltoides. It is not Russian poplar or from any other country. The pollen which is allergic to most of the population is of Kiker i.e. Robinia pseudacacia. The pollen is not visible to the naked eye but there is a heavy load of this in the atmosphere. After a dry weather in spring if there is a shower of rain we can see this yellow
pollen along fringes of cesspools.
Dr. S. A. Gangoo
Associate professor (Forestry)
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