be LEAF it
There’s a certificate on the wall of Jennifer Elliott’s class attesting to some nifty achievement in the Maple Leaf Math Contest in 2011.
Another maple leaf commanded the attention of the Grade 5 class at Aberdeen elementary on Wednesday, March 6, as Treysen Goddard made his bid for the Guinness Book of World Records.
The 10-year-old brought in a maple leaf his grandfather found in Langley several weeks ago, one that Treysen was pretty sure would beat the existing Guinness record.
That leaf, found last November, also in B.C., was submitted by a Campbell River man and verified to be the largest in the world at 21.25 inches wide and 24 inches from top to bottom.
So, with official witnesses the record keepers require watching, City of Kamloops horticulturalist and arborist Karla Hoffman unwound the yellow measuring tape provided by Treysen’s mom, Shalyn.
Hoffman stretched it out — and out — finally determining the width of the leaf to be 57.4 centimetres or, in inches, 22.5984, definitely wider than the Campbell River leaf.
Next came the height, one that had to be measured from the top of the leaf to where the stem starts and then from the top of the stem to the bottom.
Once again, Hoffman stretched out the tape, counting off 34.4 centimetres for the leaf portion — 13.54 inches — and another 31.8 centimetres for the stem itself.
The last measurement brought the height of the leaf to 26 inches and, in the minds of Treysen and his schoolmates, is good enough to be named the new record holder.
Hoffman told the class it was the largest leaf she had ever seen and, from its measurements, she knew it was an acer macrophyllum, also knows as the Oregon or Bigleaf maple.
The three witnesses — Cpl. Cheryl Bush of the Kamloops RCMP, Ross Lowndes of the city’s fire department and Tara Hassall, a teacher from Rayleigh elementary, had paperwork to complete after the measurement, all part of the process of submitting the find for inclusion. Photos and a video will accompany the documentation and the Goddards will find out in a couple of months if Treysen’s find meets all of Guinness’s criteria.
In the meantime, the measurement gave the students a chance to learn about the parts of the leaf, as Hoffman explained what she was doing to them, and inspired some of them to head for the bookshelf in the classroom, again with something green in mind — the most recent edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and all the fascinating information contained within.