If your maple trees are anything like the one in our yard, you've probably noticed there's a heckuva lot of those pesky helicopter seeds in the trees this year in Minnesota. Here's why that is.

CSJ/TSM-Rochester

We only have one maple tree in our yard, but that sucker has created a TON of those seeds. Growing up in Wisconsin, we called them helicopters, but according to this CBS-Minnesota story, their actual, scientific name is samara (which sounds like a some type of coffee, doesn't it?)

I'd heard before that if we had a really tough, cold, winter, that the next spring, you'd see a lot of those seeds-- it being the tree's way of keeping its species alive.

Turns out, though, that's not the case. It's really because-- and here comes the science-- maple trees have two parts to them, the story notes. A 'boy' flower and a 'girl' flower. The girl flower is the one that creates the helicopter-- I mean, samaras.

The reason there are so many, the story says, is that the breakdown of girl and boy flowers isn't always an equal 50-50. This year, for example, the ratio is much more heavily tilted toward the girl flowers-- the one that creates the samaras-- meaning that's why we're seeing all those seeds.

And they're not kidding! Like I said, we only have one maple tree in our yard, yet I've had to get out the ladder and clean out our rain gutters twice already because there were so many samaras clogging them.

And don't get me started on how many are have fallen on our driveway and in the yard. Sheesh. Could we get more boy flowers next year, trees?

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