THE SCIENCE BEHIND FALL LEAVES

 Have you ever wondered why leaves change color in the fall? Have you ever noticed that when they change color they flutter to the ground? Well, behind all the color changing there is some science involved.

First, the pigments (yellow, orange and other colors in a leaf) have been there the whole time, but the chlorophyll (the green color in a leaf) takes over and the pigments become invisible because green is the strongest color. In fall, the chlorophyll breaks down and you can see other colors or pigments.

When there is no chlorophyll left and the leaves are no longer making food for the trees, they don’t need them anymore. So, they let them flutter to the ground. In the winter the trees are bare. They no longer have to provide food for the leaves so they can focus on hibernating and saving as much energy as they can. In the spring it is warm and sunny so new buds can grow and once again the chlorophyll takes over the other colors.

The next time you see fall leaves, think of the amazing changes trees have to do to survive the winter. Tell your family and friends what you learned. Now, you can consider yourself a scientist in the magical world of leaves.

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