Ever Wondered Why Leaves Change To Fall Colors?
I'm sure you have seen picture perfect seasons where the changes are absolutely beautiful as the trees start making their change into fall colors. Why does that happen?
Leaves are green in the first place because they contain chlorophyll, which is a green pigment that absorbs light energy which we have plenty of during the months leading up to fall. Plants use that energy to convert carbon dioxide and water in photosynthesis.
During the fall as water becomes less plentiful, days get shorter and temperatures get colder , that's when the chlorophyll breaks down and the leaves start turning colors other than green.
When you see leaves that change from green to orange or yellow that means they are just going back to other pigments that are already there. Red leaves depend on a different pigment which isn’t produced until late summer. It’s chemical change gives us red and purple foliage.
I'm sure you've noticed that not all Texas trees change colors or sheds its leaves in the fall. Some years you'll see awesome color displays, and sometimes the transformation just isn't very impressive. There are many theories about what makes such a difference from year to year. Some claim that rainfall amounts make the difference, but the timing of the first frost and other factors may also effect the transformation from year to year as well.
Texas trees do tend to turn later than trees that you see the farther north you travel. If you’re visiting a state park to take in the beauty of the changing seasons, it's a good idea to check with the park before traveling to be sure you’ve timed your visit to enjoy color changes at their peak.
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