Before the Leaves Fall

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en Español

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Leaf

As the weather starts to cool off and it feels more like fall, one thing you will begin to notice is the leaves. Deciduous trees are plants that lose their leaves annually that can produce vibrant colors before they fall. 

Two of the most significant factors affecting leaf color change are day length and environmental temperature. The importance is not that the amount of sunlight has decreased, but rather the amount of dark has increased. Also, environmental temperatures determine the leaf color, With adequate amounts of soil moisture, warm days with bright sunlight, and cool nights produce the change in foliar color. A prolonged drought, disease, or insect pests can cause a tree to shed foliage to conserve moisture, food, or energy. When leaves stop making food, photosynthesis stops, causing the green leaf color to fade. This makes it possible for you to see yellow and orange colors. These colors were in the leaf all along but were hidden by the green of the chlorophyll. In a simplified version when leaves become unproductive the leaf color begins to change, therefore prompting trees to shed these leaves.

We don’t have to think about this process to enjoy the color of fall, but sometimes it is nice to know.

Leaf colors