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Why Do Leaves Change Colors?


Are you curious as to why leaves change colors each fall? Well, so are we. The reasons behind these changes are scientific but we will try to explain these changes in the simplest of terms without bringing you back to a high school science class.

It’s important to note two things- that not all trees lose their leaves and not all leaves change colors in the fall. Trees that lose their leaves are called deciduous trees and those that don’t are called evergreen trees.  Common deciduous trees include species of ash, aspen, beech, birch, cherry, elm, hickory, hornbeam, maple, oak, poplar, and willow. Kinds of leaves that change colors include maple, aspen, birch, oak, and gum.

All of these kinds of leaves are the reasons fall foliage is so beautiful.  It’s truly magnificent.

There are many different aspects that play a factor in leaves changing color.  Like temperature and precipitation. However, the main factor in leaves changing color is sunlight or the lack of it. As summer turns into fall, the days become shorter. And shorter days mean less sunlight. As the leaves start to receive less sunlight, a chemical change begins. Leaves take this as a signal to stop making chlorophyll and end photosynthesis.

And Welcome Fall!

leaves changing colors

The green leaves are gone and in comes vibrant yellow, orange, and red colors that we all love.  These amazing colors are dependent on the pigment of each leaf.  There are four major leaf pigments that each dictate the color of the leaves.

  • -Chlorophyll= Green
  • -Xanthophylls=Yellow
  • -Carotenoids= Orange
  • -Anthocyanins= Red

Then Comes Winter!Deciduous Tree

The main reason leaves change colors is for the preparation of winter.  Leaves know that the temperatures are dropping and winter is on its way.  Trees become bare as their leaves make their way to the ground.  And once leaves hit the ground, they aren’t as pretty to most people. Thoughts shift from how do these wonderful colors come about to what do I do with the leaves? We have the answer to that! Plowz & Mowz Leaf Removal Clean Up is the perfect way to take care of leaf clean up this year.


Posted on November 20, 2020

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