Why Leaves Change Color

Leaves change to beautiful colors in autumn. It is part of nature. Though the trees will remain barren for quite some time once all of the leaves drop, it is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of autumn. But how it happens is quite interesting in itself. The pigment chlorophyll is green, which is why leaves are green. Contrary to long summer days, when the autumn equinox approaches, the days are cut short (sunset usually being around 6-7pm) and the leaves aren’t getting as much sunlight as they usually would get in summer and spring.  Without chlorophyll’s green color, specifically in autumn, the tree makes a red pigment (anthocyanin), an orange pigment, a yellow pigment and a brown pigment (carotenoid). But without the pigment chlorophyll, the plants aren’t able to photosynthesize, so they shrivel up and glide off the trees and onto the ground (except for evergreens, that is). Also, specifically in fall because the tree needed a good amount of time to save all of that sugar. Though there are some who beg to differ, all of this complexity and raking is definitely worth the beautiful sight autumn brings.

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