Ever wonder why trees’ leaves change color?
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, tree leaves have cells that provide the tree with food throughout the year. The cells are made up of chlorophyll, which makes the leaves green. Because of the colder weather in the fall and winter, there isn’t a need for as much food making energy. At that point, the hidden colors in the leaves made up of carotenoids start to show as the chlorophyll breaks down giving it a yellowish tint. The red and purple colors appear when the sugars turn into anthocyanin. This typically happens in warmer weather.
Although temperature is a key determinant in changing leaf color, it is not the only factor. For more information on the transformation of leaves visit the Missouri Department of Conservation.
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