K-Guard Kansas City Blog

How Whirlybirds, Acorns, and Other Seeds Germinate in Your Gardens and Gutters

One of the semi-annual tasks you must perform as a homeowner is the dreadful ritual of gutter cleaning. 

When you climb the ladder to examine the state of the gutter channels and downspouts, you’ll probably find a few things. Most likely, a collection of brown muck that’s a combination of dust, pollen, and dirt.  You also might find remnants of a bird’s nest from a nearby tree.

In addition to these and depending on the season, you’ll find plenty of flat items that look like helicopter blades as well as acorns never collected by the local squirrels. In fact, if the gutters are cleaned only once a year, you may see an accumulation of both.

These don’t simply land and hang out until removed. Sometimes, the casings of these seeds crack open and fall into the muck. Add water, and they can germinate in the channels. Eventually, masses of roots can clog gutters and downspouts. In turn, these innocent seeds lead your gutters to a major failure.

Whirlybirds, also known as propellers or helicopters, are the aliases for the winged seeds from white maple or green ash trees.  They can travel up to a mile so even if you don’t have these varieties in your yard, they still accumulate in your gutters from other homes in the neighborhood.

Acorns come from trees like evergreens and white oaks.  These reach your gutters if they fall from your trees or roll into the channels from squirrels who lose a few nuts.

When do They Fall?

Whirlybirds reach your gutters in the springtime during their germination period. Acorns start to mature and drop off branches starting in late summer or early fall.  In essence, if you live in an area native to this vegetation, your gutters are under attack almost the entire year.

Preventing Their Gathering and Germination

As mentioned, the cumulative effect of whirlybirds and acorns in the gutters leads to clogs. This causes potential overflow and splashing on the soffit and fascia below the roof line.  The overflow can also stream down the home’s exterior to cause damage to window and door trims, foundations, and unprotected home interiors. 

Maintenance is mandatory to prevent high repair costs. Since removing your trees is not a solution, focus needs to stay on the gutters.  Make sure you schedule cleanings four to five times a year, especially after a big storm or a series of windy days.

Once the gutters are cleaned and tightened, you can purchase a cover to prevent these seeds from entering the channels. If the holes in the grating are small enough it should prevent acorns from falling through but whirlybirds may still slip in due to their slimness. Therefore, a screen may not be enough.

A lifetime solution to eliminate anything but water from falling into the channels is to purchase a K-Guard Leaf Free Gutter System. We provide a lifetime clog free guarantee. If you detect even the smallest sign of a whirlybird or acorn in the channels, we will come out for an inspection. Not only will we clean the gutters for free. 

IF you’re ready to be done with gutter cleaning, whirlybirds, and acorns, contact one of our K-Guard specialists for a free consultation and estimate at 913-229-7550.


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