In Canada, there is no such problem as leaves on the line causing daily distress for autumn commuters, because at this time of year it seems the entire population - at least in the parts of Quebec and South Ontario that I visited recently - is focused on organising, dressing up for and eagerly attending their local community leaf collection event.

These are what are usually described as happy, sunny, family-focused outdoor activity days; a typical Pollyanna can-do attitude helped, no doubt, by the fact that Canadian leaves are large, crisp, colourful and dry. No doubt they're destined for the great civic mulcher in the sky, set to re-emerge as future food for the soil of public gardens.

How unlike poor old Scotland, where spent leaves are left to rot in the rain thanks to local authority budget cuts, an unfortunate cost-saving policy that covers our pavements, steps and roads in joyless mud-coloured slides.

The result is a general aversion to leaves from a bad-tempered public now heartily fed up with trying to avoid the treacherous booby traps for fear of falling down and breaking their bones. I wouldn't be surprised if some cynical bright spark were to mount a campaign to get rid of trees altogether.

Across the Atlantic, it's a different story. The general pride in native folioles that I witnessed earlier this month is rooted in, but goes beyond, the elevated status of the maple leaf as the sole symbol of the national flag. Apart from its sheer size, its astonishing range of seasonal hues is a thing of beauty famously celebrated in the paintings of Canada's most prominent artists such as Tom Thomson and JEH MacDonald.

It's also obvious in a new wave of culinary art. Several contemporary dishes feature maple syrup in various fanciful guises. The menu of one particularly upscale restaurant in downtown Ottawa had a dish of seasonal saddle of Quebec rabbit wrapped in prosciutto and served with maple syrup reduction. At any Tim Horton coffee shop you can buy a maple shortbread with your maple-sweetened cappuccino, and in delis you can squeeze maple syrup on to your waffles instead of honey.

Which makes me wonder if, as we near the end of National Tree Week, Scotland should declare its own national leaf collection day each November. Mind you, Caledonian Pine Needle Pick Up somehow doesn't have the same appeal. So how about Rowan Round-up or Sycamore Sweep?