What’s Clogging Your Indiana Gutter?

Tree Debris – entry 1

We’re going to be doing a little series on tree debris over the next several weeks. Indiana has a variety of trees and therefore great diversity in the kids of seeds and nuts that fall into your yard and gutter. You might have noticed that, like your lawn debris, even your gutter debris differs from season to season. This week (entry 1) we are going to focus on what is probably the most common tree debris in the midwest.

What’s it called, anyway?

So we all know those pesky little seeds with a tail that flutter down from the Maple trees. But we have so many different names for them. Personally, I’ve always called them helicopters. I’ve also heard them called ‘Whirly gigs’, ‘Maple keys’, ‘Whirlybirds’, and ‘Samaras’…. Anyone have any other names that I’m not listing here? Feel free to email us your unusual names for these pesky or fun (depending on wether you have gutter covers or are below 10 years of age) Maple seeds.

The experts weigh in….

So what is the technical term for a maple seed, anyway?

Apparently wikipedia doesn’t even know the correct answer. While wikipedia cites the accurate name is ‘Samaras’, that is not apparently the true technical name. The Samara is acutally the ‘winged’ part of the seed. This begs the question, ‘Are there no true answers?’ After a great deal of searching, and no definitive answers, I’ve reached out to my local  forestry ‘outreach specialist’ at Purdue University. Apparently, the correct term is Disamara di Acero– or Disamara. The literal English translation is … ‘Two samara from the Acer’ –Acer being the seed and Samara being the ‘winged’ attachment.

West Lafayette’s lesser known claim to famelocal icon named after seeds that clog gutters

Apparently, we aren’t the only ones who thought the true technical name for those pesky maple seeds were Samara. Frank Lloyd Wright did too! He even built a house in West Lafayette and entitled it ‘Samara’ after the abundance of Maple trees that grew on the property. This house was originally designed to the home for John and Catherine Christian http://www.samara-house.org/. A faculty member at Purdue, John Christian commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1950s to design a private home for the couple to raise their children as well as entertain fellow faculty member. Samara remains in great condition with little to no changes from Wright’s original design. This is in part due to the Christian’s dedication to preserve the integrity of Wrights’s vision for the property as well as remaining in the home as the original occupants. Samara is now held in a private trust and open to visitors and tours. See the above link for further details.

What’s in a name?

Whatever the name, we know that these seed fall from Maple trees in the springtime and clogs gutters. As a local gutter company, we know that Indiana has an abundance of these trees. In fact, these seeds are our most common complaint of the debris that is clogging gutters. This is why we have a couple of gutter cover solutions specifically for this type of debris. If you find that your gutters are commonly clogged by the maple seed, go ahead a contact us and we’ll show you our solution. https://www.guttercoversofindiana.com