In order to better understand why leaves change color, knowing exactly something about leaves is required. Without this knowledge, it will be very difficult to know what is going on.
Photosynthesis and Chlorophyll
First, you need to know how plants make food. They use roots to soak in water. They also absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Next, the plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose. Glucose becomes the energy the plants use to grow. This process is called photosynthesis.
As the process continues a chemical called chlorophyll is activated. This not only aids in the photosynthesis process, but it also makes the leaves green.
Why Leaves Change Color
When fall approaches, the days will start to shorten. The trees realize this. Knowing that there’s little sunlight, the plants close down a majority of their food-producing elements. One of the chemicals that is shut down (or reduced) is chlorophyll. It’s in the winter that the food factory is almost totally shut down. However, it starts slowing down in the fall too.
Without chlorophyll, the yellows and oranges start to manifest. These colors have always been there, but chlorophyll makes green the dominant color.
Leaves in the Fall
It isn’t just yellow and oranges we’ll see. When studying why leaves change color, you’ll see that reds and purple predominate. There are two reasons. One, the glucose gets stuck in the leaves as photosynthesis is temporarily stopped.
The other reasons are sunlight and the drop in temperature, which turns the glucose into red. Meanwhile, some wastes in the leaves get stuck in the trees. This gives them their brownish hue.
The Night Factor
Fall is known for having longer nights. This is a crucial factor in determining leaf color. The rain, weather and other elements are important. But it is the longer evenings that are most vital. The reason is that the biochemical processes change.
When trying to understand the reasons why leaves change color, you’ll learn the trees and plants assume various shades. For example, oaks become russet or red. Aspen turns into golden yellow, dogwood into purple and sourwood into a lovely crimson.
Maples assume various colors depending on the variant. Sugar maple turns orange-red, black maple into yellow and striped maple into something without color.
The Weather Factor
The finest hues appear when warm days are followed by breezy evenings. The reason is that glucose is produced a lot. Aside from the weather, the soil is important as well. If the colors appear a bit dull, it’s due to too much warmth.
All of this is actually the tree’s way of preparing for the winter. Regardless of the weather, one thing is certain. As the veins are closed, a separation layer is made. Then the leaves will fall. The leaves turn into food for the creatures in the soil.
When you go over the reasons why leaves change color, you shouldn’t get too caught up in the figures: instead, just enjoy the view. It is one of the amazing natural shows you’ll see.