Pollen everywhere! Oak season is in full swing in San Antonio, Hill Country, South Texas

Oak season peaks in early April in South Central Texas

Oaks pollenate in March and April every year (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

If you’re wheezin’ and sneezin’ oak is likely the reason. Some common symptoms of an oak allergy are itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, and a stuffy nose.

Yellow dust has coated just about everything around San Antonio, and the pollen count has shown the pesky pollen steadily rising over the last few weeks. (You can also find the pollen count in the KSAT Weather Authority mobile app.)

Oak season peaks in late March and early April. It usually comes to an end in early May. (KSAT 12)

Oak trees pollinate in March and early April, producing hanging clusters of pollen called “catkins.” The pollen is then dispersed by the wind, irritating those who breathe in the pollen grains.

Catkins are clusters of pollen that develop on oak trees when they pollinate. (KSAT 12)

Leaves Everywhere

Not only do pollinating oak trees cause wheezing and sneezing for millions of locals, but they also create a bit of a mess in our lawns. The spring brings new growth to the trees, pushing off the older, brown oak leaves. The result is piles of oak leaves in backyards, patios, sidewalks, and front lawns.

Seeing “Worms”?

In addition to the yellow pollen and brown oak leaves, you may notice “worms” everywhere. These are actually moth caterpillars that feed on the new, green oak leaves. Usually, after a windy day, the caterpillars that hang by a thread of silk become detached, falling to the ground.

Generally, these bugs are harmless, and a great source of food for local critters. However, an extreme infestation of the caterpillars on an oak tree may require a bio-pesticide. Contact a trusted arborist if you think there may be a problem.

A look at an oak caterpillar (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Oak season usually comes to an end in early May.

Don’t forget that your KSAT Weather Authority Team updates the pollen count each morning - even on the weekends! Bookmark this page so that you can check it daily.

Curious about how the pollen count works? Find answers to many frequently asked questions about the daily pollen count.

About the Author:

Sarah Spivey is a San Antonio native who grew up watching KSAT. She has been a proud member of the KSAT Weather Authority Team since 2017. Sarah is a Clark High School and Texas A&M University graduate. She previously worked at KTEN News. When Sarah is not busy forecasting, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, and playing music.