Protecting Yourself From Marauding Catkins

“Floating catkins” are still everywhere in downtown Shanghai. On the way to work, they surge towards you, landing on your hair, clothes, or even in your nostrils and eyes. For those more prone to allergies, just leaving the house can be a catastrophe.



Just what are these annoying “floating catkins”? They mostly come from poplar, willow, and sycamore trees, with sycamore trees producing the most catkins in Shanghai. It is estimated that these fluffs will continue to be around for about 10 more days.



Related officials from the Shanghai Greening Administration say that the most effective measure at the moment is pruning. This is because most fruits grow on perennial branches, so the pruning of these branches during winter months can largely decrease fruit yield.



However, with the push to promote ecological progress in recent years, the pruning process of sycamore trees in Shanghai has transformed and decreased. This was done mainly to enlarge the canopy and increase natural shade so that citizens can enjoy a breezier, more comfortable summer. So these measures have, to some extent, increased the amount of sycamore fruits, though it is still in the normal range.



During the period when “floating catkins” are still around, take precautionary measures to the best of your ability when outside. Wearing long sleeves, a mask, and glasses can largely diminish the effects of these allergy-causing fluffs. If one accidentally gets into your eye or causes an itch after direct contact on skin, don’t rub. Wash with cold water, wipe softly with wet paper, or apply cold compress with a wet towel.



Source: The Paper

Editor: Zhu Yan