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Summer DIY: Maple Seeds & Helicopters

Although other materials have been tested, researched, and developed to create skateboards, the general consensus of skateboarders is that seven laminated plies of cold-climate, hard-rock maple from the Great Lakes region of the U.S. and Canada make the best skateboards. Maple wood is an ideal wood type for skateboards because because it is flexible, yet durable, allowing it to be easily shaped without sacrificing strength. The best maple for skateboards is grown in northern Canada and is called Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum). Studies have shown that the colder the climate, the tighter the growth ring will be because of the short growing season. The farther north the tree is harvested, the harder and more durable the Sugar Maple will be.....making the perfect material for skateboards.

With the long growth period and need for Maple, sustainable forestry practices have been vital to keep the population of Maple trees going. Maple seeds are unique designed to fall from tall maple tress and land perfectly so that a new tree may grow.

If you’ve ever been near a maple tree in the late summer or early fall, you’ve probably watched their seeds twirl down from high branches and fall near the base of the tree. These seeds are a natural example of how helicopters work by creating lift! 

Download the printable here to mimic their movement with some fun paper spinning helicopters! 

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