why do plants change color in the fall
Why Do Leaves Change Color in Autumn? We all enjoy the colors of autumn leaves. The changing fall foliage never fails to surprise and delight us. Did you ever wonder how and why a fall leaf changes color? Why a maple leaf turns bright red? Where do the yellows and oranges come from? To answer those questions, we first have to understand what leaves are and what they do. Find maps, dates, and best scenic drives for fall colors
Leaves are nature's food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose.
Oxygen is a gas in the air that we need to breathe. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis. That means "putting together with light. " A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color. As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees "know" to begin getting ready for winter. During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer.
They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can't see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll. The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color. The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves.
It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors we enjoy each year. Plants are busy growing all summer long. But how do they survive the dark, dry days of winter? How Do Plants Prepare for Winter? Plants are busy growing all summer long. But how do they survive the dark, dry days of winter? Before we learn why leaves change color in, let's talk about what leaves do during the rest of the year. Each on a is like a tiny panel, gathering sunlight the tree uses to make food. Sunlight helps turn water and carbon dioxide into and, a that the tree uses for food (energy) to.
This of converting water and carbon dioxide into and is called. A called helps the of occur. is also what gives plants their green color. As begins, the days get shorter and shorter. With fewer daylight hours, leaves are not able to make as much as they can during the long daylight hours of spring and summer. As the fades, we are able to see other colors, such as orange and yellow,. Many people mistakenly believe that makes leaves change color. While this is not true, weather can affect how vibrantly the colors appear. If the weather is too hot or cold, the leaves will not be as bright as they begin to change.
The best weather for foliage is sunny, warm days and cool nights. Water also plays an important in colors. If a tree doesn't receive water, the leaves will die faster and fall to the ground. If there is too much, the tree won't receive sunlight, and the leaves will not be brightly colored. You may be surprised to learn that each has small amounts of other colors in it year-round, even if we can't see them. During the spring and summer, overpowers the other colors, and all we see is green. With less to give the its green color, we begin to see the other colors, such as orange, yellow, and red, which have been there all along.
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