Soon our trees will start shedding their leaves, but before they do we will be treated to one of nature’s most spectacular shows, the bright colors of the changing leaves. Autumn is here.
In early spring, as the leaves grow, they are bright green. When the hot summer comes they turn a darker, bluish green. The green color comes from chlorophyll, which is produced in the leaves. However, as fall approaches, and the weather gets cooler, around 45 degrees, the leaves stop producing chlorophyll. Then the bright colors begin to show up. These bright colors are ever present in the leaves, but when warm weather comes and chlorophyll is produced, the bright green color overshadows the red, yellow, purple, and other colors.
The yellow color of birches, ashes, and other trees compete with the red of maples, black gum, and the purple of sweet gums, to give us a show that only God can produce.
Soon, however, where the leafstalk of the leaves grows to the wood of the tree, the cells begin to die. Once they are completely dead the leaves fall to the ground. Then they lose their color and turn brown. They have done their job by producing the chlorophyll that helps the tree grow.
Now the trees are on their own. In the winter, growth is very slow, but once the warm breezes of spring come again, the trees once more come to life.
Bud Jones is a Tallapoosa resident and the author of more than 10 books. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.