If you live in Louisiana and are a pool owner, chances are you have a love-hate relationship with the Live Oak tree. These grand monuments of the southern landscape have massive, strong branches that stretch out like arms, creating a fashionably draped crown adorned with Spanish moss. Their shade offers a welcome respite from the hot summer sun, and they provide archways to grand homes across Louisiana. For many people, the live oak tree possesses a human-like quality, making it a beloved part of Louisiana's cultural heritage.
While these trees are undoubtedly beautiful, they do come with challenges for pool owners in Baton Rouge. Maintaining a pool near a live oak tree in Louisiana can test the patience of even the most experienced pool owner.
The tree generally blooms in mid- to late-March, and as it ages, it produces more and more flowers and acorns. Like other deciduous trees, live oaks go through a dormant period during the winter, but as the days grow longer and warmer, and winter snows turn to spring showers, they experience a surge of new growth. The male flowers, known as catkins, are very visible as long yellow-green fronds that hang from the tips of some of the tree’s branches. The flowers themselves are small and run along the catkin’s middle stem, and they release their supply of pollen in about two weeks.
While the pollen released by the live oak tree is well-known for coating cars and worsening seasonal allergies, it is also bad news for your pool. Pollen is an organic matter that can quickly create algae on your pool walls, clog your filter, and make your pool dirty. This means more frequent filter cleanings, scooping the surface of your pool, and the use of more chemicals to treat your pool. As a pool owner, you don't need to have oak trees on your property to experience this problem, as pollen can travel with the help of the wind, easily landing straight into your pool.
Despite the challenges posed by live oak trees near your pool, it is essential to remember that they are a natural part of Louisiana's landscape and a beautiful addition to any property. To minimize the amount of pollen in your pool, try the following:
Use a pool cover: A pool cover can help keep pollen out of the water, reducing the amount of cleaning you'll need to do.
Clean your pool regularly: Regular cleaning is essential to keep pollen from building up in your pool. Use a skimmer to remove pollen from the surface of the water and vacuum the bottom of the pool to remove any pollen that has settled there.
Keep your filter clean: Pollen can clog your pool's filter, so it's important to clean it regularly. Check your filter's pressure gauge and clean or backwash it when the pressure rises by 25% above its normal reading.
Maintain proper water chemistry: Maintaining proper water chemistry is essential for preventing algae growth, which can be exacerbated by pollen. Test your water regularly and adjust the pH and chlorine levels as needed.
Prune your Live Oak tree: Consider pruning your Live Oak tree to reduce the amount of pollen it produces. Pruning can also help to maintain the tree's health and prevent it from causing damage to your pool.
Consider professional help: If you're having trouble maintaining your pool due to pollen or other issues, consider hiring a professional pool service to help. A professional can help keep your pool clean and maintain the right chemical balance to prevent algae growth.
By following these tips, you can enjoy your pool while minimizing the impact of pollen from your nearby Live Oak tree. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy your pool and the natural beauty of your live oak tree for many years to come.