Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall? :- Each and every autumn, we take pleasure in the splendor of the autumn colors. As the seasons shift from summer to winter, the tree undergoes a series of chemical processes that result in the mixture of red, purple, orange, and yellow. These processes are the cause of the changing colors.

 

Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

Throughout the spring and summer months, the leaves have functioned like factories, producing the majority of the meals that are essential for the growth of the tree.

This process of producing food takes place in the leaf through a multitude of cells that contain chlorophyll, which is responsible for the leaf’s characteristic green hue.

 

This remarkable chemical is capable of absorbing the energy that is utilized in the process of converting carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

In addition to the green pigment, there are pigments that vary from yellow to orange, carotenes, and xanthophyll pigments. For instance, the orange hue of a carrot is due to the presence of these pigments. Throughout the most of the year, these colors are obscured by a significant amount of green coloring.

 

Chlorophyll Breaks Down

The leaves, however, cease their process of producing food during the autumn season due to the fact that the length of daylight and temperature both fluctuate during this time.

As a result of the breakdown of chlorophyll, the green hue of the leaves vanishes, and the yellow to orange colors become evident, which contribute to the leaves’ transformation into its fall glory.

 

Also see :- 8 Flowering Plants That Hummingbirds Don’t Like 

 

There is also the possibility that other chemical changes may take place at the same time, which will result in the formation of additional colors in the form of red anthocyanin pigments.

In the fall, certain combinations are responsible for the reddish and purplish colors that trees like dogwoods and sumacs exhibit, while other mixtures are responsible for the beautiful orange color that the sugar maple displays.

 

Yellow is the sole hue that may be seen in the autumn foliage of certain trees. Others, like as a great number of oaks, appear primarily brown. During the autumn season, the leaf undergoes a process that results in the mixture of different amounts of chlorophyll residue and other pigments. This process is responsible for all of these colors.

 

Other Changes Take Place

In addition to the appearance of the fall colors, additional changes are taking place. The point at which the stem of the leaf is joined to the tree is the point at which a unique layer of cells begins to grow.

 

This layer eventually separates the tissues that are responsible for its support. A leaf scar is left behind by the leaf when it is finally blown off by the wind or falls from its own weight. This occurs simultaneously with the tree sealing the cut, which causes the leaf to leave behind a scar.

 

When autumn arrives, the majority of the broad-leaved trees that are found in the North shed their leaves. On the other hand, the brown leaves of the oak trees and a few other species may remain on the tree until the spring, when the tree will begin to develop anew.

 

In the South, where winters are mild, there are some broad-leaved trees that are evergreen. This means that the leaves remain on the trees throughout the winter and maintain their green color.

 

Only Some Trees Lose Leaves

In both the North and the South, the majority of the conifers, which include pines, spruces, firs, hemlocks, cedars, and other similar trees, are evergreen.

Leaves that resemble needles or scales are always green or greenish throughout the year, and individual leaves can remain on the plant for anywhere from two to four years or even longer.

 

Weather Affects Color Intensity

The degree of fall color and the length of time it lasts are both affected by factors such as temperature, light, and the availability of water. Low temperatures that are above freezing will encourage the development of anthocyanin, which will result in brilliant reds in maple trees.

 

However, the bright crimson hue will be diminished if frost occurs too early. Days that are cloudy and/or rainy also have a tendency to intensify the hues of the fall foliage. On a day that is clear, dry, and cold (in the sense that it is not freezing), the greatest time to see the autumn colors would be.

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