Naturalist’s Corner – Fall Foliage!

Naturalist’s Corner – Fall Foliage!

Posted October 21, 2019

Ever wonder why leaves change color in the fall? Plants have a green coloration because they contain a pigment called chlorophyll. Leaves have a large amount of chlorophyll to capture light energy that can be converted and used to produce the energy necessary for the plant to survive, a process called photosynthesis.

Since fall is a transitional time, some trees, called deciduous trees, begin to prepare for colder, darker weather. This preparation includes shedding their leaves. Before shedding their leaves, the trees use up the resources in the leaves. Leaves change color because the green chlorophyll begins to break down, leaving behind the red, yellow, and orange pigments. After the leaves fall, trees are one step closer to being ready for winter. When you see a tree with few or no leaves on it this fall, it might not be dead. It could just be adjusting to endure the harsh winter.

To embrace the colorful foliage of autumn, visit the Douglas S. Westgate & Fearing Hill Conservation Areas in West Wareham!

(C) Wareham Land Trust ~ provided by New Bedford Internet