Why the Leaves Change Color (Sometimes Later Than We Hope)

It’s finally time to embrace the fall season and start preparing for the cold winds.

But before you can finally enjoy that steaming cup of coffee and drape yourself in a warm, cozy blanket, you ought to witness one of Mother Nature’s biggest splendors. Autumn is the season of color and vibrancy. It’s the time of the year when you observe a gradual but stunning change of green foliage to rich and exotic reds and yellows, often with a tinge of orange and purple. While you may be awestruck by nature’s work of wonders, have you ever really wondered why leaves change colors when they do?

Well, the major color change happens due to a shift in the season from summer to autumn, which brings with it several other variations. However, there’s so much more to it than just a change of season. Trees and leaves together go through important chemical processes that basically result in a drastic change of color.These chemical processes affect the ways plants and leaves function, particularly their food-making mechanism that is, photosynthesis.

Breakdown of Chlorophyll

Leaves are primarily green due to the presence of a pigment called chlorophyll. This pigment is vital for leaves because it helps them prepare food in the presence of sunlight. During other seasons like summer and spring, when there is abundance of sunlight, chlorophyll absorbs the sunlight to help plants with their food-making process.

In autumn, however, due to extreme changes in the weather, sunlight, and temperature, most plants stop making food. This results in chlorophyll being broken down into smaller molecules. This also makes the leaves lose their green color, and other pigments start taking its place, leading to the leaves changing color.

One of these pigments is anthocyanin which gives the leaves red and purple fall colors. The other pigments are carotenoids that produce the rich mix of yellow and orange.

Changes in the Weather

Since a change of season obviously results in great weather changes including temperature, light, and water supply, this affects the strength of fall colors. When temperatures are extremely low, leaves start producing large amounts of the pigment, anthocyanin, that make them turn reddish-orange. However, if the low temperature is accompanied by frost, it weakens the red color and the leaves starting turning more orange than before. In times of rain though, all the colors tend to get really bright which affects the intensity of fall colors overall.

Now that you know when, how and why leaves and trees change color, you’ll probably find yourself waiting for the fall season to closely observe the whole color-changing process. While you are at it, enjoy and soak up all the beauty because the beautiful fall season doesn’t last for long!

And don’t forget that when the leaves come down, you can easily pick them up by visiting Cyclonerake.com.

1 Comment

  1. Bill Clark

    Has anyone made an adaptor that allows the cyclone rake to hitch via a single point so it can bend as you go around corners? The back end swings so wide I have taken chunks of wood out of my deck, broke an outside outlet cover among other things. I have a lot of trees and tight spaces to go around and using the rake is so difficult to not hit objects my wife and daughter refuse to use it. A single point hitch would solve this problem.
    Thanks for considering making a new accessory for this!

    Reply

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