Why do leaves turn colors in the fall?

Thursday, November 3, 2016 by Alison

November is here and despite some warm temperatures this week, we are on a slow and steady march towards winter. But hopefully you have had a chance to get out outside this fall and see all the beautiful fall foliage! And maybe you were left wondering why the leaves turn from green to red or orange or yellow?

First let’s go over what makes leaves green – chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what allows plants to create energy through photosynthesis. As summer comes to a close, and the nights get longer, trees stop producing as much chlorophyll. The green color fades revealing all of these other bright colors! 

These bright colors are caused by other chemicals such as carotenoids or anthocyanin, which get overpowered by the green chlorophyll throughout the rest of the year!

Do you have a favorite fall color? Or a certain place where you love to go see the leaves changing? Let us know!

Why do leaves turn colors in the fall?


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