I attended medical school in New Orleans. Along with great food, music and the rich culture and history, one of my fondest memories was the magnificent Southern Oak trees.
These ancient giants, some dating back to the Civil War, with trunks the size of a Volkswagen beetle, hanging with moss, framed an idyllic image of the old south. They are beautiful trees but they are also one of the major causes of spring allergy problems throughout the south.
When I moved to Arizona and started an allergy practice, I was sure of one thing: I would not have to worry about Southern Oak allergy problems in Phoenix!
I was wrong.
I have known that there are several varieties of Oaks native to Arizona, the majority of which live at higher elevation in the state, and rarely in Phoenix. But certainly, there were no trees resembling the Oaks I knew from the south, growing in a typical, low water use, desert landscaped yard in Ahwatukee!
And yet, if you take a drive around the lakes of Lakewood, in Ahwatukee, (as I did on my bike a few weeks ago), you will find the entire seven mile stretch lined with mature Southern Oak trees. No hanging moss or women in antebellum dresses swinging on porch swings, but most definitely full of pollen.