WOW- Why do leaves change color in the fall?

Posted on 04. Nov, 2013 by in World of Wonder, WOW! Blog

Have you ever wondered why the leaves on trees change from green to another color in the fall?  The picture above is a tree in my yard- a ginkgo tree.  It was green just a few days ago and now it’s bright yellow.  Botanists tell us that the reason for the color change has to do with the pigments that are always present in the leaf.  During the spring and summer the green pigment from chlorophyll is the dominant color, so we see the leaves as green.  Chlorophyll is the substance that makes leaves able to create food from light, water and carbon dioxide.  But as the days shorten and the temperature drops the chlorophyll stops producing food and the plant goes dormant for the winter.  When this happens the chlorophyll decomposes and so the leaf is no longer green and then we see the other pigments that have been hiding away in the leaf.  So, that’s why and how leaves change color in the fall.


Look around you and see how many different colors of leaves you see.  Isn’t fall a beautiful time of year?  Hope you enjoy being out doors this fall and all year long.

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