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Alu-Rex > Eavestroughs and rain water management blog

Mr. Gutters, there’s a maple forest sitting on the roof!

Shoots of maple

Do you remember Mr. Gutters? Here’s yet another adventure of his!

A year after purchasing a home in a 50-year-old neighborhood, my sister quickly realized that she would not be able to leave her gutters unattended for too long. What she thought was a climbing plant that had seeped through the downspout turned out be shoots of maple (yes, her knowledge of horticulture is questionable). That’s when Mr. Gutters came to the rescue to investigate.

Always greener on the other side

The first observation I made once on location was the absence of maples on my sister’s property. No need for an extensive investigation though as there was a huge one on the neighbor’s property. Actually a colorful bed of vegetation covered all surrounding parking lots and yards. Once we were done raging over the neighbor’s love for vegetation came the time to clean the gutters.

 

One of the best types of soil for horticulture

A gutter filled with decaying plant matter is fertile ground for what is sometimes considered as weed trees: maples. Everything you need is there: a soil full of nutrients, constant moisture, maximum exposure to the sun and a natural flow for water to drain. That’s why I would also recommend using what you find in your gutters to plant a small garden! Maple samaras, more commonly know as helicopters, can travel tens of meters to land and develop in stormwater management systems.

Use what you find in your gutter to plant a small garden

Use what you find in your gutter to plant a small garden

Once the first leaves have emerged, there is nothing left to do but climb a ladder to clean the gutters, with gloves mind you.

Gutter syrup

Unless your goal is to create a green roof to produce your own maple syrup, these young shoots are not what you’re looking for. The good news is that this problem can easily be noticed and remedied on your own, unlike in the case of fine debris or moss. Second floors as well as steep terrain and roof pitches all come with a higher risk of falling.

<i>Climb on your ladder and clean your gutter. Then, install a gutter protection.</i>

Climb on your ladder and clean your gutter. Then, install a gutter protection.

I always avoid climbing directly on the roof and, obviously, I always try to have gutter protection installed once the eavestroughs have been cleaned so that the ladder can be put away for a few years!

Sébastien “Mr. Gutters” Girard

Marketing Director, Alu-Rex

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