You may have wondered sometime in your life why do leaves change their color in fall into these beautiful fall colors? Here is why they change: plants use the power of the sun to cause a process called photosynthesis, this process uses air and water to turn into a sugar that trees need to live. The leaves are usually green due chlorophyll found in chloroplasts in the leaves.
As winter comes, the sun happens to stay up for less time every day, which makes chlorophyll harder to keep trees sugared up with, leaving them to collect extra food in the summer. Trees stop using chlorophyll during the winter because if they did it would be just a waste of energy.
Chlorophyll usually steals all of the spotlight, but leaves also contain other pigments. These pigments are the same reason carrots are orange and egg yolks are yellow. Without chlorophyll's green, these other pigments make themselves known. Sometimes trees produce the same red in raspberries. The exact coloring of fall foliage is the result of a mix of these red, orange, and yellow pigments.
Environmental conditions that can change, the amount of sunlight, soil moisture, and temperature can all make a big difference. Eventually sunlight kills all of these pigments except brown. The cells of the leaf also will break down which make them very fragile and dry. Eventually wind will break the dying leaf from the tree, leaving the tree with a tiny scar. For all trees the color will vary by type of tree. The process starts again the next year. This is a complicated process, but it sure is beautiful!
Story by Olivia Crosson