You all have been sending in amazing fall foliage photos and keep them coming! Have you ever wondered why the leaves have different colors from each other during autumn? It has to do with the trees pigments! We’ve explained before how chlorophyll makes the trees green in color in the summer, and why the leaves change color in the fall. When the chlorophyll begins to break down, the green color fades, and we see the tree’s true colors in fall!
All trees are made up of different pigments, and depending on the pigment, leads to a different color for the fall foliage. If a tree produces a lot of the pigment called xanthophylls, it will have a yellow color. If the tree is made of carotenoid pigments the will have a more orange hue. When we see a tree with more red and purple colors it means it has more anthocyanin pigments.
Anthocyaninn (Red): Red Maples, Scarlet Oaks, Red Sumacs, White Ash, Mountain Ash, White Oak, and Chestnut Oak
Carotenoid (Orange): Sugar Maples, Fire Cherry, Poison Sumac, and Gray Birch
Xanthophylls (Yellow): Birches, Beeches, American Elm, Witch Hazel, and Black Cherry
Check out the foliage photos you have been sharing!