How Does Autumn Get Its Color?

A lot of people enjoy a drive through Wisconsin in autumn. Do you ever wonder why the leaves change colors or why they only change during the fall?

One of the main things that make the leaves change color is chlorophyll. Production of chlorophyll is triggered by sunlight. Chlorophyll is a type of chemical that turns leaves green.

In addition to chlorophyll, carotenoid changes the color of leaves. Carotenoid makes the leaves yellow, orange and brown. There are other natural chemicals that also turn the leaves into distinct colors including red. Less sunlight leads to less chlorophyll production, which allows the chemicals within the leaves to turn into the beautiful fall colors.

Weather conditions lead to leaves changing color. In the fall, days get shorter. Less daylight triggers colors-changing chemicals, so these chemicals are more active in the fall. According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) the previous seasons determine the colors of leaves in the fall. Warm summer days and frost-free nights help make the best fall colors.

When autumn arrives, people often wonder when the leaves will begin to change colors. The best month to see color change is October. Even though the colors may be better in some years than in others, Fall, in Wisconsin will always be delightful.

[Source: Wisconsin State Journal]