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Allergy Free Gardening

Allergy Free Gardening
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If you are suffering from allergies, tree and plant pollen may be the reason.


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Book Recommendations

Books By Tom Ogren | Recommended Books On Nature | Bibliography

Books by Tom Ogren

Allergy-Free Gardening

Praise for Allergy-Free Gardening

"You can use his list of plants with  #1 and #2 ratings and plant yourself a garden that is virtually pollen-free."

-- Kate Jerome
Tree talk
Chicagoland Gardening

"This book presents a new idea and does it very well indeed. Until the publication of Allergy-Free Gardening, the information needed to make allergy-free choices had not been compiled in one easily accessible source; nor had a scale been devised for rating plants that cause allergies. Here, Ogren accomplishes both these aims."

-- Carol Cubberly
Library Journal

"The author guides you step by step through the process of creating a comfortable sneeze-proof yard and garden. A truly revolutionary guide to healthy landscaping!"

-- Burpee 125th Anniversary Seed Catalog

"What a grand contribution to fields of pollen allergy, horticulture, and the garden. Congratulations to you both: Tom for conceiving and writing Allergy-Free Gardening, and Ten Speed Press for picking it up for publication."

--Walter H. Lewis, Ph.D.
Senior Botanist, Missouri Botanical Gardens
Author of Medical Botany

"Allergy-Free Gardening should be on the shelf of every serious gardener. All allergy specialists would be wise to own a copy, and certainly the book should be in the library of every nursery and municipal park department. Perhaps most importantly of all, this text should be required reading for every college student of landscape design and horticulture."

--David Stadtner, MD
Allergist, Stockton, California

"This book presents a new idea and does so very well indeed. Ogren, a former landscape gardening instructor, proposes that in our private and public landscaping we need to reduce the use of plants that cause allergies. Until the publication of this book, the information needed to make allergy-free choices had not been compiled in one easily accessible source; nor had a scale been devised for rating plants that cause allergies. Here, Ogren accomplishes both these aims. His introductory material presents many plants and allergies new to this reviewer, and he shows how to apply his ideas. The main part of the book consists of plants listed in alphabetical order by their scientific names, with numerous cross references to their common names. Brief annotations provide descriptions and notes regarding allergies. The most important feature, however, is the rating of plants on a scale from one to ten (with ten causing the worst allergic reactions). As David Stadtner, a practicing allergist, writes in his foreword, 'the book should be in the library of every nursery and municipal park department.' It should be in public and academic libraries as well."

----Carol Cubberley
Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg
Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information

5 Stars The Bible for allergy sufferers
As someone who has a history of allergies to almost everything, this book truly has become the Bible of allergies for me. In my opinion, this really is the best book ever written in regards to allergies. Tom Ogren outlines the allergy potential for every plant you've ever heard of, and a few you probably haven't heard of. When we moved into our new Southern California home a couple of years ago, we used this as a bible for landscaping -- if the book gave it a good pollen rating, we planted it. If it was a high pollen rating, we didn't plant it. The result? My allergies are better now than they have been at any time in my life, and this book has played a huge part in that! Even if you're not allergic to plants, get this book if you do any landscaping -- if everyone would follow his suggestions, there's no question we'd reduce the amount of allergic reactions by a huge amount. I can't say enough good about this book!!

5 Stars Awesome book buy it now!
This is an easy to use, easy to understand book and has really helped me plan my landscaping to help plan my future planting.... If you suffer from allergies, but want to have a beautiful yard this is the book for you. I have used it a lot and recommend it to everyone I know!

5 Stars Great book!
This book was better then I expected. It's a good, quick reference for picking out low allergen flowers. If you have allergies, you HAVE TO GET THIS BOOK!

5 Stars An important book
The incidence of asthma and allergy is on the increase. Who knew that all those decorative grasses and lovely pepper trees were contributing to such misery? Tom Ogren has compiled a comprehensive and easy to use reference detailing the allergenicity of individual plants. It is based on sound research. Homeowners and community planners should read this and take note of the possible adverse health effects of landscaping.

What the "Experts" may not tell you about Growing the Perfect Lawn
  • The best type of turf for your needs
  • Insider tips on fertilizing, aerating, and weed control
  • Landscape services: what you should be getting for your money

and much, much more!

What the "Experts" May Not Tell You About.. .Growing the Perfect Lawn
by Tom Ogren, Warner Books, 2004. ISBN: 0-446-69093-7, $12.95.

What the "Experts" May Not Tell You About... is Warner Books' new series on how to handle the public purchases of life: building a home, car repair, etc. Being a horticulturalist, Tom Ogren was asked to write the book on lawn care. Like The Complete Idiot's Guide or the For Dummies books, What the "Experts" May Not Tell You About.. . series provides a welt-organized and easy to read handbook about its given topic for the person who wants either to handle the topic themselves or be informed before hiring someone else to do it. The advantages of this "Experts" book on lawn care are that it's newer (2004 to the late 90s for the other books), devotes an entire chapter to "Fixing Up an Existing Lawn" and clearly explains the hows, whys and whens of aeration. Of course, if you're concerned about pollen allergies and thus wonder if  your lawn is making life better or worse for the sufferers in your life, then you want to read this book for Ogren's insights. As the author of Allergy-Free Gardening and Safe  Sex in the Garden, Ogren is particularly knowledgeable about human/plant allergic reactions. Not only does he note allergic potentials in the "Species of Grasses" and  "Ground Covers" chapters, but he adds an appendix of "Twenty-Five Recommended Trees for Your Lawn" to guide homeowners into planting beautiful trees that won't  aggravate anyone's allergies. Like most guidebooks, this one includes highlighted "insider's tips" and "potential pitfalls" within each chapter for quick reference. The basics  (watering, aerating, fertilizing, weeds, lawn mowers and even "How to Mow a Lawn") are covered in a chatty, yet informative style. Ogren states that "it isn't my aim in this  book to push or promote either organic or chemical methods of lawn care ... my job is to present both sides as fairly as possible, and let you decide for yourself." Considering how careful one must be with the chemical methods Ogren describes and that I've personally never had Ogren's problem with fly eggs in manure, why anyone  would choose the chemical over organic methods of lawn care, especially if they have pets or children is completely beyond my understanding. If Ogren's descriptions of  organic lawn care don't inspire you to try them first, at least follow his advice and use herbicides/insecticides/fungicides and chemical fertilizers with all the care Ogren  details.

If your lawn is your first real horticultural project, Ogren includes a helpful "Lawn Glossary" of terms both specific to the turfgrass industry and general to all of horticulture   that will have you speaking the trade lingo fluently both to your neighbors and your local nursery. The Index is useful to look up items when you need an answer quickly. The "Resources" section, which lists URLs and books, is thin, but as none of the subdivisions lists more than 10 sources. I suspect this was a decision by the "Experts" editors to keep the section "to the point" for the beginning lawn owner. Serious grass enthusiasts will want to follow the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program at http://www.ntep.org/ to choose exactly the right

Safe Sex in the Garden

"I must compliment you on a really great book. You have taken the bull by the horns, pointed out what needs to be pointed out, and said what had to be said. I was very impressed with the sections that explained very eloquently the botany of male and female plants, something most doctors have forgotten, and how important basic principles are."

-- Harris Steinman, MD, Allergist
Cape Town, South Africa

"There is a fantastic book, "Safe Sex in the Garden," by Thomas Leo Ogren that presents as cogent an argument as any scoffer might not want to read. This book explains the problems, its root causes and how to work around them. Guaranteed- you'll breathe easier."

-- Dan Clost
The Good Earth, The Trenton
Trentonian, Ontario, Canada

Residential and commercial landscapes are loaded with male-only trees and shrubs since they are litter- and therefore maintenance-free. But given a choice, what would you rather do a sweep or battle hay fever? The fact that our urban forests have been propagated with male-clones is a crime on two counts: male plants are the pollen-producing offenders, and without female plants to absorb pollen, allergenic pollen counts are on the rise nationwide. In SAFE SEX IN THE GARDEN, horticulturist Thomas Leo Ogren explores this safe sex issue (plant sex, that is!), as well as many other allergy-related topics: organic gardening, protecting pets against allergies, handling allergy-related stress, and global warming's affect on allergies.

Birthday Boy Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy was Thomas Ogren's first published book. It sold out two large printings and was very popular in literacy programs. For thousands of formerly illiterate adults, Birthday Boy was often the first real book they ever read, finished, and enjoyed. Out of print now, used copies are still often available on Amazon.
Birthday Boy, another of the fine novellas from Thomas Ogren, is a book we use in all of our adult reading programs. One of the reasons adults who are new readers enjoy this book, is that it is an adult story, about adults, and written for adults. What I like especially about Birthday Boy is that even though it is so very easy to read, the story itself is never childish. Actually, this is a very fine book and I would highly recommend it to anyone, new reader, or experienced.
Birthday Boy is a book that is short on pages but long on heart. It is used here in many reading programs in the Bay Area and is one of the tutors and adult students favorites.
I know this is one of those easy to read books for adults but nonetheless, it is still mighty good! I cried like a baby when I read Birthday Boy!

Happy Hour Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Makes You Cry , but Wonderful!
We use Happy Hour in Adult Reading Programs and it has always been a good title for us. It is an interesting story, well-written, with characters who come to life. Even though it was written to be an easy-to-read novel, it still has punch and I'd say almost any grownup would enjoy it.
Happy Hour isn't fun, but it's very good.
For those who take the time to read this novella, I think most will find it very well written, powerful and in the end, an uplifting story of one man's war with personal demons. This book has long been used in our area's adult reading programs, and it has always been one of our most popular titles. John Banks

Recommended Books On Nature

Here is a list of books on nature that I own and highly recommend. I will try to keep coming back to this list on a regular basis and add to it as needed. Besides being a gardener, my interests include all of nature. These are the books I'm recommending in my newest book, The Highway Naturalist.

Most of these are adult books, but many of them are suitable for children with an interest in nature. Giving books on nature to young kids is one of the very best presents you can ever give them. Get them interested; get them hooked on the wild world of nature. You'll be glad you did.

For your own self, give yourself a treat, and stock up on some of these quite amazing books. You'll never regret it.

Tom Ogren

A Golden Nature Guide - St Martins Press. Golden Press, later bought out by St Martins, originally published the Golden Guides. - These are pocket-sized books on insects, mammals, birds, fossils, wildflowers, weeds, rocks and minerals, trees, the planets, and on the weather. Alas, the old Golden Guide called Fishing, is no longer in print…and it's a good one. You can still find it at used bookstores or on the Internet. All the Golden Guides are excellent; all make terrific presents for kids, presents that will stimulate love of nature.

A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America - Donald Culross Peattie, Boston, MA - Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950; 2nd ed. 1966

A Natural History of Western Trees - D. C. Peattie, Boston, MA - Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953; Reprint as trade paperback with intro by Robert Finch, 1991 - I own many books on trees, and these two are my favorite tree books

A Pocket Guide to Trees - Rutherford Platt - Pocket Books, Dodd, Mead & Co., 4th printing, 1972 - This is an oldie, but a good one, an easy to use, very handy guide to trees of the US.

Fishes of the Pacific Coast: Alaska to Peru, Including the Gulf of California and the Galapagos Islands - (Paperback) Gar Goodson - Stanford, Calif. Stanford University Press, 1988 - My favorite fish book, excellent!

Gem Trails of Utah - James R. Mitchell - Gem Guides Book Company, Baldwin Park, CA. - There are Gem Trails Guides to many western states, and all of them are easy to use, handy guides to finding great places to rockhound.

Hawks, Peterson Field Guides - W.S. Clark, and B.K. Wheeler - Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1987. - A great little book on hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures of North America. Look for it in used bookstores

How to Know the Birds - Roger Tory Peterson - A Mentor Book, New American Library, NY, 1949 - An old book, but a good one; pick up a copy if you can find it.

Insects, Simon & Schuster's Guide to Insects - Simon & Schuster, R. Arnett Jr., and R. L. Jacques Jr., NY 1981 - One of the best general books on insect ID.

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Fifth Edition - Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer - This is a very fine book, well worth owning. This might well be the best book on American birds. It comes in a large version and in a smaller on…get the smaller version if you intend to carry it along while you're birdwatching.

Native Trees of Southern California - P. Victor Peterson - University of Berkeley Press, Berkeley, 1968 - This is a great little guide, especially if you're in a western state.

North American Wildlife - edited by Susan Wernert - published by Readers Digest, Pleasantville, NY, and Montreal, 1982 - This wonderful book is out of print, but you can still find inexpensive copies at used bookstores and on the Internet. A real treasure, with fabulous artwork and excellent writing. Would make a great gift for a youngster, but it's well worth having one for yourself, too.

Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America - David Allen Sibley, Alfred A. Knopf - NY 2003 - This is my favorite bird book.

Snakes of North America, Eastern and Central Regions - Alan Tennant - published by Lone Star Books, Lanham, MD, 2003 - This is a very fine, useful book, one of the best on US snakes.

Sport Fish of Florida - Vic Dunaway - 2004 - www.floridasportsman.com This is a fine little book, well illustrated, full of sage advice on catching and identifying Florida fish.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Eastern and Western versions - Alfred A Knopf - 1979 - Both are excellent, useful books.

The Mammal Guide, Mammals of North America north of Mexico - Ralph S Palmer - Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1954 - This beautiful old book is about as good as it gets on our mammals. Wonderful color drawings and terrific writing from a fellow who knew what he was talking about. Look for it at used bookstores or online, and get you a copy!

Utah Atlas & Gazetteer, 5th edition, 2005 - Published by DeLorme, P.O. Box 298, Yarmouth, Maine 04096. (207) 846-7000 - DeLorme publishes these large, highly detailed topographic maps for most of the western states. They show the GPS grids, all the back roads, the dirt roads, the reservation lands, State lands, the BLM lands, along with camping areas, fishing spots, old mines, and more. They cost about $20 each, and they're well worth it if you're going way off the beaten path.

Western Gem Hunter's Atlas - Published by Cy Johnson & Son, Box 288, 435 N. Roop Street, Susanville, Calif. 96130, 29th edition, 1992 - There are many of these in print and you can find them used at rock shops, used bookstores, or on the Internet. A small, inexpensive book of maps, with locations and notes to most known gemstone spots, old mines, and all the rock shops. Covers from CA to the Dakotas, BC to Texas. This is a great little guide; keep a copy in your vehicle.

Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 3rd edition. - Robert C. Stebbins - Houghton Mifflin, 2003 - This is my very favorite book on reptiles and amphibians, and Stebbins is THE expert.


Note: This list of references is in no way complete, but included are a few of the books and articles that I found especially useful in the writing of Allergy-Free Gardening.

Hortus Third - Bailey, Liberty Hyde, Bailey, Ethel Zoe, and Editors, Cornell University - Collier Macmillan Publishers, 1976, London, New York

Modern Roses 10 - Cairns, Thomas - The American Rose Society, Shreveport Louisiana, 1995 - For serious rose lovers, this is the book.

Sunset Western Garden Book - Clark, David, and Hogan, Elizabeth L., Editors - Lane Publishing Company, 1986, Menlo Park, CA - For the Pacific West Coast, this is one of the most useful general gardening books

Landscape Plants for Eastern North America - Flint, Harrison L. - John Wiley & Sons, 1983, New York

North American Landscape Trees - Jacobson, Arthur Lee - Ten Speed Press, Berkeley 1996 - One of the very best books on hardy landscape trees. Jacobson understands sex systems in trees and always includes this information. Great attention to detail

Allergy Plants - Jelks, Mary MD - Immunolo and Allergy Clinics of NA 1889: 381-399 - and also, Jelks, Mary MD, Aeroallergens of Florida

The Euphorbiales - Jury, S.L., Reynolds, Cutler, and Evans - The Linnean Society of London, The Whitefriars Press, Great Britian,1987

Aeroallergens In The Midwestern United States: Pollen and Spores Hazardous to Health - Lewis, Walter H., and Imber, Wayne E. - IV Int. Palynol. Conf., Lucknow (1976-77) 3 : 466-474, 1981

Airborne Pollen of the Neotropics - Lewis, Walter H. - Grana 25:75-83, 1986. Uppsala 20 March 1986. ISSN 0017-3134

Airborne and Allergenic Pollen of North America - Lewis, Walter H., Vinay, Prathibha, and Zenger, Vincent E. - The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1983 - From a purely scientific point of view, I consider this the best book ever written on the connections between plants and pollen allergy.

Distribution and Incidence of North American Pollen Aeroallergens - Lewis, Walter H., Dixit, Anu, and Ward, Walter - Am J Otolaryngol, 12:205-226, 1991

Medical Botany - Lewis, Walter H., and Lewis, Memory Elvin - John Wiley and Sons Publications, 1977, New York - A fascinating book!

North American Pollinosis Due to Insect-Pollinated Plants - Lewis, Walter H., Vinay, Prathibha - Washington University Department of Biology, May 1979, St Louis, Missouri

Tropical to Warm Temperate Aerospora of Vascular Plants - Lewis, Walter H. - 1990 Washington University, St Louis, Missouri - This is a very extensive bibliography of useful sites up to 1990. For the serious allergy researcher, this is a good place to start

Pacific Coast Trees - McMinn, Howard E., and Maino, Evelyn - University of California Press, Berkeley, 1981 - A fine, easy-to-use book for identifying west coast trees

Handbook of Tropical and Sub-Tropical Horticulture - Mortensen, Ernest, and Bullard, Ervin - USDA, May 1964, Washington DC

A California Flora and Supplement - Muntz, Philip A., and Keck, David D. - University of California Press, Berkeley, 1968 - This is not light reading, but is nonetheless the "Bible" on native California species

Modeling the effects of Urban Vegetation on Air Pollution - Nowak, David J., McHale, P.J., Ibarra, M., Crane, D., Stevens, J., and Luley, C. - Plenum Press, 1998, New York

Is This Your Child? - Rapp, Doris MD - William Morrow and Company, 1991, New York - Doris Rapp is a true pioneer in allergy study

Manual of the Trees of North America - Sargent, Charles Sprague - Dover Publications, Inc., 1965, New York - One of the very best

Gardening In the Upper Midwest - Snyder, Leon C. - University of Minnesota Press, 1978, Minneapolis

Taylor's Encyclopedia of Gardening - Taylor, Norman - Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948, Cambridge, Massachusetts - This is an old but wonderful book. One of my all time favorites, this is a very useful general gardening book.

Reliable Roses - Utterback, Christine - Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1997, New York - Good book for picking out roses with extra disease resistance.

Maples of the World - Van Gelderen, D.M., de Jong, P.C., Oterdoom, H.J. - Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, 1994 - The very best book I've ever read on Maples

The people's handbook of Allergies and Allergens - Winter, Ruth - Contemporary Books, Inc., 1984, Chicago

Pollen Grains - Wodehouse, R. P. - McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1935, New York - Wodehouse was one of the first and one of the best. Pollen Grains is a classic in allergy literature

Happy Hour: Makes You Cry , but Wonderful!
We use Happy Hour in Adult Reading Programs and it has always been a good title for us. It is an interesting story, well-written, with characters who come to life. Even though it was written to be an easy-to-read novel, it still has punch and I'd say almost any grownup would enjoy it.
Happy Hour isn't fun, but it's very good.
For those who take the time to read this novella, I think most will find it very well written, powerful and in the end, an uplifting story of one man's war with personal demons. This book has long been used in our area's adult reading programs, and it has always been one of our most popular titles. John Banks
One last thing: This quote after Allergy Free Gardening, on the Books Page: 5 Stars Great book!
This book was better then I expected. Great condition, barely used. It's a good, quick reference for picking out low allergen flowers. If you have allergies, you HAVE TO GET THIS BOOK!
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