As seasons pass, trees go through a specific cycle of the seasons. Trees react to this annual cycle in a very interesting way. It’s always a beautiful cycle when you notice a tree changing colours throughout the year but how does this natural process occur?
This time of year the trees are exposed to an increase in daylight and warming temperatures. Cued by specialized detection cells begin to open and new leaves begin to expand. Colours can be ranging from yellowish-green to pink depending on the proportion of pigments. There will be different levels of chlorophylls, carotenes and anthocyanins in the cells of their buds and leaves. New wood is grown to support the above ground mass of the tree. The roots are very active and they grow to find water and nutrients for itself.
In the summer, the tree are usually an intense green. The days are hotter and growth starts to slow down. The process of photosynthesis cannot function during the day because of the heat. All buds containing next years leaves are usually set by the mid summer. Trees are grown fully and with bright green arrays of colours!
Once fall arrives the trees have a big change in it’s living conditions which results in many other changes too. As day length begins to shorten and trees respond by creating less chlorophyll. This results in the changing of the colours. The thick arrays of greens slowly changes to a beautiful arrangement of fall colours! Anthocyanins and carotenoids are leaf compounds which are left behind and cause the beautiful reds and yellows during the fall.
In the winter, trees begin preparing themselves for the harsh bitter coldness that’s bound to arrive. A “scar-tissue” is usually formed in most deciduous trees. Most deciduous trees are naked of leaves and thus less susceptible to the ice, snow, and winter winds that are capable of breaking limbs and snapping or uprooting whole trunks. Trees are very strong and remarkable organisms, they can adjust and withstand the harsh changes of the annual seasons.