Why do tree leaves change color in the fall?
Why do tree leaves change color in the fall?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

The green color of leaves is due to a pigment called chlorophyll. Most leaves have other pigments, too, but they're masked by the presence of chlorophyll. In late summer and fall, with decreasing day length, leaves produce less chlorophyll, and the other pigments become visible. The red and yellow underlying pigments are produced most abundantly during warm, sunny days followed by cool nights. Red pigments are produced as a result of sugar accumulation as chlorophyll breaks down. Low sugar production under poor conditions reduces pigment production. If cloudy, cool weather hits during early fall, colors are not as spectacular.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors
Community Answers (2)

Yes, the absence of chlorophyll is the reason for the fall foliage colors. However, many other factors affect the time and brilliance of the fall foliage. These include the amount of rain fall and the number of overcast cloudy days in contrast to the number of bright sunny days. Too much to either extreme and the leaves will not show their normally expected vibrancy.
Submitted by forestwanderer