Why Do The Leaves Change Color?
November 09, 2017
Ever wonder why certain trees drop their leaves during the autumn season? How about why the leaves are changing color? Vermont is argued to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States during the peak of autumn where many deciduous trees are featured shedding their colorful leaves each year. However, there are many factors that influence these vibrant colors during this time.
Weather patterns leading up to the beginning of autumn are a large factor that plays into how vibrant leaf colors will be during the peak of fall. The interesting thing is that the yellows, oranges, and browns that we see during the fall are hidden colors that are being exposed. The green coloration of leaves are from chlorophyll, which helps trees absorb sunlight; however, in the fall the chlorophyll is no longer necessary, as daylight becomes shorter each day. The chlorophyll is then broken down for nutrients and reveals the colors that were hidden throughout spring and summer.
The red leaves that are the most prominent of the leaf colors are influenced the most by weather. If the weather consists of warm, sunny days and cold, crisp nights, then the color of the leaves tend to be much more vibrant. However, leaves are shed by the tree due to the fact that the trees need to eliminate the parts of it that are the most vulnerable to the cold, which are the leaves.
-Claudia Johnson, Class of 2018
So next time you’re out in the woods, in the fall, take a look around and observe all of the colors that are on the trees this time of the year.