Landworks, your commercial lawn care expert in Johnson County, KS, is here to help you better understand and care for your turf, shrubs, and trees. Everyone knows the leaves of deciduous trees in our area change color and drop in the fall, but why and how does that happen?
First let’s look at why some trees drop their leaves before it gets cold. In the winter, it would take a lot of energy and water for plants to keep their leaves healthy. But winter is dry and cold, and there is significantly less sunlight than summer. So rather than trying to hold onto their leaves, many plants drop them and seal the areas on their branches where the leaves were attached, for the same reason a commercial lawn care service seals the areas where we remove branches from trees – to prevent infection.
What makes leaves colorful?
The color of leaves is determined by molecules called pigments. The pigment that makes leaves green is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is necessary for plants to make food using sunlight. In the spring and summer when there is plenty of sunlight, plants make lots of chlorophyll.
When the days get shorter and it starts to get cold in autumn, many plants stop making chlorophyll. Those plants break down their chlorophyll into smaller molecules instead. As chlorophyll goes away, other pigments start to show their colors. This is why leaves turn red or yellow in the fall.
The plants save energy by breaking down the chlorophyll and moving it out of their leaves before the leaves fall. The plants reabsorb the molecules that make up chlorophyll. Then, in the spring, they can use those molecules to make the chlorophyll again.
There are other pigments in leaves called xanthophylls, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. Xanthophylls are yellow, and carotenoids are orange. Anthocyanins cause red, pink, or purple colors. Anthocyanins also protect leaves from getting sunburned or being eaten.
When the weather changes, these trees break down all the green pigment in their leaves. This brings out the stunning yellows, oranges, and reds that make autumn so special in the midwest.
Landworks Commercial Lawn Care
Landworks is a commercial lawn care and landscaping company specializing in all aspects of lawn care services. Our customized maintenance programs are designed to meet your needs, including mowing, mulching, shrub/tree trimming, spring/fall clean ups, and lawn fertilization/weed control programs. Landworks offers a free consultation for all of our landscaping, irrigation and lawn care services in Johnson County, Kansas and the surrounding Kansas City metro area.