Every year, at the same time, a real nightmare for allergy sufferers begins in Russia, associated with the flowering of poplars. Now this attack has begun in Moscow. Meanwhile, even 100, and 90, and 80, and even 70 years ago, nothing like this happened in the capital of Russia: there were practically no poplars in it. Sergey Yesenin even complained about this...
Now Moscow has about 500 thousand of these trees, of which about 40 thousand female poplars, the most widespread species of poplars - balsamic, whose homeland is North America, are "dusting". This species is good because it grows very quickly, is unpretentious, gas-tight and perfectly tolerates partial shade. These poplars emit record amounts of oxygen, absorb dust, and recycle gases. In one hour, wood can process up to 40 kg of carbon dioxide. In addition, it has excellent phytoncidal properties - it kills bacteria. That is, in almost every sense, a useful and cheap tree.
It became “main” in Moscow in the 1950s-60s, when mass development began in the capital, and people from communal apartments in the city center began to move into separate apartments, and later “Khrushchevs” on the outskirts. Then they began to plant greenery in their new yards with the most convenient tree, as it seemed to them - the poplar.
Moreover, very often the new settlers did not follow the recommendations of specialists - to plant only male trees, which quickly turned into trouble: an abundance of fluff during the flowering of females, the fragility and fragility of poplar (it is no secret that this tree most often breaks in strong winds), as well as its susceptibility to fungal infection. And this is not to mention the fires caused by the ignition of fluff for any reason.
It goes without saying that the harmful and useful properties of poplar gave rise to fierce disputes among Muscovites about how to deal with this tree: should we get rid of it completely, or should we try to preserve it?
Experts from the State Biological Museum named after K.A.Timiryazev tried to dispel the myths that arose around this tree:
Myth 1, the main one.
They are actually seeds. Just very fluffy.
Myth 2, unpleasant.
Allergies are caused by cereals that bloom at the same time as poplar. And the fluff still carries allergenic pollen.
Myth 3, with hope.
"Male" poplar does not give fluff.
They fought against fluff by planting only male poplar plants, but, as it turned out, trees can change sex with age, especially after pruning.
This is precisely the tactic that the Moscow government is now following, which two years ago promised that poplar fluff would disappear from the city by 2023. Anton Kulbachevsky, head of the Moscow Department of Nature Management and Environmental Protection, said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda:
“Pushing poplars are females because they produce seeds. We change about 2 - 3 thousand poplars a year. Fluff also becomes less when rejuvenating pruning of mature and very old trees is carried out..."
True, at the same time, the press service of the Department recalled that in Moscow there is no current program aimed at completely replacing pushing poplars, and measures to combat poplar down are spelled out in the "Rules for the creation, maintenance and protection of green spaces and natural communities of the city of Moscow", approved by the decree of the government of the capital. This is a deep pruning, refusal to plant fluffy poplar species - balsamic, fragrant, Soviet, laurel, as well as planting non-fluffy poplars - Berlin, white, Chinese. If the pushing poplar died, then other tree species are sometimes planted in its place. These are Norway maple, linden, chestnut, as well as the listed types of poplars".
In the meantime, you will have to suffer, as the Russian classics bequeathed...