WHY DO LEAVES CHANGE COLOR IN THE FALL?
1. Trees need nourishment just like people do. When you see a green leaf, you know it is getting fed. The food inside the leaf is called chlorophyll. It is made by sunlight.
2. All spring and summer, the leaf and its tree eat and grow. This is hard work, so the leaf needs a lot of food.
3. When fall comes, the tree's growth slows down. Although it doesn't die, its leaves do. Slowly the chlorophyll breaks apart. Then the leaves begin to dry. The sugars that are left contain new colors. Some are yellow or orange and other are red or purple.
4. Some trees have leaves that don't die in the winter. The evergreen always keeps its color. Its old needles fall off from time to time, but the tree itself stays green. Once the needles are on the ground, they lose their chlorophyll. Then they turn brown just like leaves.
5. Each spring, new life returns to trees. A fresh supply of chlorophyll shows up in shiny, green leaves and buds.