Fall Color

Fall to some, is a fun season to take pictures, with the trees displaying a gorgeous array of colors. The process that allows us to enjoy these magnificent colors is quite interesting. Trees get their green color from chlorophyll which is necessary for photosynthesis – the process where plants use sunlight to manufacture sugars for food. Trees will also store some of this food for use during their dormant period in the winter.   In the fall when the length of the daylight gets shorter the chlorophyll levels are reduced, augmenting other pigments. The two main classes of pigments that produce the amazing colors we see each fall are anthocyanins, which produce the red and purple colors, and the carotenoids which produce the yellow and orange colors.   The intensity and brilliance of the colors is affected primarily by the weather –temperature and moisture. The best weather for brilliant autumn foliage are sunny, warm days and cool nights. To little or to much rain can also affect the intensity of the colors of the leaves.

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