Falling leaves: An estimation

It's that time of the year, folks. Credit: Mutts/

It’s that time of the year, folks. Credit: Mutts/ Patrick McDonnell

It’s October and we’re well in the mood for fall. Or autumn. Whatever you may call this season, we certainly enjoy the changing of the leaves. Pumpkin spiced lattes and fashion trends aside, there are few better ways of enjoying the fall than to go on a nature walk and watch the leaves twirl and whirl from the branches to the ground.

While we love falling leaves, we do not recommend you taking a dive in them. Credit: Foxtrot: Matthews

While we love falling leaves, we do not recommend you taking a dive in them. Credit: Foxtrot/ Bill Amend

And here at Zapzapmath, we believe in seeing the math in everything around us, so the question on our mind as we looked at the leaf piles forming on the ground was: – How might we estimate the number of leaves on a tree? This also brings back memories of an earlier post where we talk about estimation being one of the ways to train your mind for problem solving, so here we go!

How to estimate leaf count

In order to get an idea of how many leaves there are on a tree, it takes a little understanding of the parts of a tree, and a little bit of multiplication. A tree has leaves on its twigs, which are attached to its branches. Following that hierarchy, the next time you’re on a walk along a boulevard, start by counting the number of leaves on one twig.

For example, if there are six leaves on a twig, 18 twigs on a branch and 7 branches on one tree, the estimate will be approximately 756 leaves, represented in this equation.

Leaf_count

Leaf count estimation has been working out well for us so far – we’re looking up more from our phones when we’re outside! If you’re still looking for a reason to invite a friend along to enjoy the falling leaves, wait no longer! One thing we’re quite sure of, we’d rather be jumping in them than raking them!

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