Why Do The Leaves Of Our Trees Change Color In The Fall?
I was just talking to a friend about the fact that it seems like we haven't had the brilliant fall colored leaves that we're use to. Some areas have them, but some places that I've enjoyed in previous years still haven't made the change. I thought it was weird and wondered why. I also realized (and I may have learned this in school YEARS ago), but I don't remember why the leaves actually change colors, so I did a little research.
I have lived in the Northland all my life, I know that when the mornings become cool and crisp that summer's end is near. For many school starts, we start cooking with our crock pots and football takes over our Sundays, Monday nights and now Thursdays.
When the days get shorter it's a clue to our trees that it's time to change their leaf colors. Did you know that during the summer trees store the food that they live off of during the winter? That's because during the winter, there isn't enough light or water for photosynthesis. Thus, the chlorophyll we see in the summer disappears from the leaves and the color changes to the beautiful red, yellow and orange colors. As I learned from sciencemadesimple.com small amounts of those colors are actually there all the time but are covered by the green.
We have what we think is a bronze maple in our yard and the leaves are such a dark almost maroon/blackish color most all of the time. My husband was hoping to plant a silver maple, it's his favorite, but my favorite maple is the ones that change to that brilliant red color. I found out that there is glucose in some maple leaves and when it's cool in the fall that temp turns it red.
Our temps have been warm, we don't have a lot of moisture in the forecast this week and if the winds stay calm we have the chance at keeping our leaves on the trees a little longer and hopefully watch as they continue to make the change before the snow flies!