Many Iowa homeowners are being plagued by a flurry of winged seed podsfalling from their silver leaf maple trees. For reasons unknown even toexperts, the trees are dumping tons of “helicopters” this season, causing amess in rain gutters, patios and yards. Forestry professor Steve Jungst at Iowa State University says this season’sbumper crop of seed pods appears to be larger than normal in some areas ofthe state. Jungst says the tree-copters are an unusual creation and they’rean efficient way for trees to reproduce.Homeowners who are hauling away wheelbarrows full of the seed pods mayconsider calling a tree nursery before dumping them in the trash. Jungstsays it’s possible somebody else who’s planting seeds instead of seedlingtrees would want the little brown helicopters.He says it’s not unusual to see six-inch trees sprouting from rain guttersif the seed pods are left in there for any period of time.
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