08 / 04
Why do the Leaves on Trees Change Colors in the Fall?
Do you love the fall colors as much as we do at Yellow Ribbon? We never grow tired of the red, yellow, and orange colors that start appearing on the tree leaves each year. You might be interested in knowing why this color change in the leaves happen as the temperatures start shifting.
Preparing For Change
As reluctant as we are to let go of the summer, the end of the summer months is usually most noticeable by the shortening of daylight during the end of the summer months. The trees notice this change as well; it signifies to the trees that they need to begin preparations for the winter months.
The purpose of the leaves on trees is to make food for the tree. This is done by using photosynthesis. The leaves take in sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and glucose. The oxygen goes back into the environment and the glucose goes into the tree. The stored glucose will be its food in the winter months when there isn’t enough sunlight to use photosynthesis for food.
The Meaning Of Color
The chlorophyll in the leaves is what makes the leaves green. Chlorophyll is needed in the photosynthesis process. As photosynthesis stops and the trees go into hibernation, the leaves begin to change color. Green chlorophyll dissipates, removing the green hue from the leaves.
Interestingly enough, yellows and orange color hues you see in different types of leaves were already present in the leaves. You just couldn’t see it because the green chlorophyll was overwhelming the leaf, rendering the other colors invisible to our eye. Once the chlorophyll is gone, you are able to see these autumnal shades appear.
When you see reds and purples, you are seeing the trapped sugars in the leaves change color because of the exposure to sunlight and cool temps.
It’s amazing to think that all the ingredients to cause a color change were present in the leaves all along. It’s just part of the personality of the leaves. The leaf is just reacting to the changes in its environment.
Atlanta Tree Specialists
Are you in need of tree work in your yard? At Yellow Ribbon Tree Experts, we specialize in removing unwanted or dead trees and stumps from your yard. We can also help with tree trimming and more. If you’re in need of our services, please contact us today for a free estimate.
Image courtesy of: Shutterstock