Why Do Leaves Turn Color in the Fall

Why Do Leaves Turn Color in the Fall
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Storyboard Text

  • This story explains how a tree changes throughout the seasons Spring to Fall, as you can see, a goldfinch just passed beside me, Isn't that beautiful?
  • Did you know that thanks to the rays of the sun the leaves can change its colors? This is because throughout the summer, the tree gathers sunlight to feed the leaves.
  • But later on, the tree starts throwing those nutrients to the trunk and its roots, gradually "choking" it off the leaves. Then, the leaves start producing something called 'pigment chlorophyll', and the photosynthesis ceases.
  • Animals can migrate, hibernate, or store food to prepare for the winter. But where can a tree go? It survives by dropping its leaves, and by the end of autumn only a few fragile threads of fluid-carrying xylem hold their leaves to their stems.
  • But how do colored leaves fall? As a leaf ages, the growth hormone, auxin, fades, and cells at the base of the petiole divide. Two or three of small cells, lying at right angles of the petiole, react with water, then come apart, leaving the petioles having on by only a few threads of xylem.
  • At last the leaves leave. But first they turn color and thrill us for weeks on end. Then they crunch and crackle under foot. They 'shush', as children drag their small feet through the leaves heaped along the curb.
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