Wellington Scoop

Pollen problem arriving early, because of our hottest July

News from Greater Wellington Regional Council
Reports are coming in of signs of yellow powder or paint residue in the harbour, and it’s also lining streams and puddles and coating people’s cars. Pollen is the problem, and with it signs that hay fever season is about to start.

With Wellington tracking to have the hottest July on record, plants are likely to be responding and pollen loads could be building and dispersing on the wind earlier than normal compared to recent years.

“People mistake pollen deposits for pollution and they routinely report them to our Pollution Hotline, that’s no problem, but it’s not pollution. Good on them anyhow because it shows people care about their environment and are on the lookout for pollution,” says the regional council’s Manager Environment Regulation Shaun Andrewartha.

Off-white, yellow and greenish sludge found on water surfaces or lining shores shows that pollen is being spread by wind pollination from many plants, including pines and most grasses, which routinely trigger hay fever. They produce enormous quantities of light, dry pollen grains that are carried on Wellington’s boisterous late winter and spring winds.

Only a small amount of the pollen hits the spot on plants. The majority goes to waste and this is what can be seen forming clumps and foamy slime around water or the fine yellow dust you might be seeing on your clean car or laundry. It can be alarming but it’s perfectly normal.

“It may be misery for many but it’s just nature doing its thing, without which plant growth would be much diminished.”

If people suspect pollution they should call Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Hotline on 0800 496 734. It’s a confidential 24-hour service. Contact details will be requested so that staff can gather more information if needed.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. Goofy, 1. August 2019, 7:23

    GWRC are incorrect. It’s August. We are just at that seasonal crossover, with a bit more cold weather down nature’s sleeve. And the higher amounts of pollen are because of early spring flowering. My plum trees are flowering and their leaves are coming in; the daffodils are flowering too. Pollen comes from flowers GWRC and flowers are connected to nature. I’ve also noticed people don’t know what is pollution and what is not anymore.

  2. Curtis Antony Nixon, 1. August 2019, 11:30

    At this time of the year, the vast majority of pollen seen in puddles is from pine trees and gorse. Makes life a misery for allergy suffers like me.