Why do leaves change colour in the Autumn? I’m a little late with this post but here goes anyway.
There are three main pigments in leaves-Chlorophyll(Green), Carotenoid(Yellow, Orange, Brown) and Anthocyanin(Red, Purple). These pigments also give our fruit/veg. their colours.
Leaves use Chlorophyll to make food for trees using sunlight by a process called Photosynthesis. During this time of year as the days shorten and sunlight gets scarcer, some trees adapt to this by going to sleep, similar to how some animals hibernate!
The leaves then stop producing Green Chlorophyll for food and the other colours then become more visible, i.e. Yellow, Orange, Brown. Not all leaves contain Anthocyanin but if they do, cold temperatures turn the sap in these leaves beautiful shades of Red. Weather conditions of a particular year will also dictate how leaves will look come the Autumn.
The Best Autumn colours are displayed if there has been a warm, wet Spring, a not too hot/dry Summer and an Autumn with a lot of warm, sunny days and cool nights.
This Maple leaf was taken in Tintern woods.