Green Leaves Have Autumn Color All Year Around

Autumn is synonymous with green leaves changing to reds, yellows, and oranges. And while it's nice to look at these beautifully changing colors, it's just as fascinating to learn the science behind why these things are happening. How and why are these leaves altering their hue? The short answer is because leaves stop their food-making process when the days get shorter and temperatures drop. The chlorophyll breaks down in a process that eventually exposes different colors, which are caused by chemicals present in the leaves year-round. Without the green of the chlorophyll, the leaves show yellows and browns due to the tannins and carotenoids. Red and purple leaves have their color due to anthocyanins. Watch the video below for a more in-depth description of how leaves change throughout the seasons.

Why Do Leaves Change Color and Fall?

It's the signature occurrence for autumn, but what's the science behind it?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Plants use photosynthesis to turn everyday elements like sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into food. 00:12

  2. Deciduous trees get their name from the Latin word for "fall off" due to the changing coloration of their leaves in the fall. 00:53

  3. Once trees cut off a leaf's food supply, a protective layer of loose fibers form at the leaf's base making it easy to detach. 01:33

Why Leaves Changes From Green To Orange

As explained by a green leaf.

Why Are Leaves Green?

Thanks, chlorophyll!

Written by Curiosity Staff October 14, 2014

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