Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Sunday, October 7, 2018
It is beautiful in the Fall. The leaves change from green to yellow, orange, and red.

There is a name to the process, senescence.

Senescence is the term for the process that lead to the aging and death of a plant or plant part, like a leaf.

It is basically a chemical process. Chlorophyll, green pigments found in the chloroplasts of plants, absorbs sunlight.

As the hours of daylight diminishes and temperatures decrease in Fall, the chlorophyll breaks down. This means that the leaves stop their food-making process.

This explains the changes in color, but why do leaves fall from trees?

Over time a layer of cells develops and gradually severs the tissues that support the leaf.

Temperature, light, and water supply have an influence on the degree and the duration of fall color.

The Team

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