WHY DO LEAVES CHANGE COLOUR IN AUTUMN?
Helen Keating writing on the Woodland Trust website informs us. Leaf colour comes from pigments. These are natural substances produced by leaf cells to help them obtain food. The three pigments that colour leaves are chlorophyll (green), carotenes (yellow) and anthocyanins (reds and pinks).
The show that we are treated to can vary each year. This is due to the weather conditions at the time of year and particular conditions can lead to more intensely coloured autumn leaves.
Cold nights: low temperatures destroy chlorophyll so the green leaf fades to yellow, but if temperatures stay above freezing, anthocyanin production is enhanced and the leaves take on a red colour.
Dry weather: sugars become concentrated in the leaves, more anthocyanin is produced and consequently leaves are redder.
Bright sunny days: although the production of new chlorophyll stops in autumn, photosynthesis can still occur on sunny autumn days, using the remaining chlorophyll. Sugar concentration increases, more anthocyanin is produced and the leaves are redder.
For more on this, including why leaves fall and the benefits thereof see the link to the Woodland Trust below.
Not a secluded Highland scene, but the Leven in October.
Same bend in the river. Opposite direction - upstream.
Three hues of maple on the Leven towpath in October 2023.
Sycamore leafs in India Street in November.
Brambles in October.
Some of the bramble berries have been affected by the autmnal changes in hue. Only a very few have reached their black state.
Dogwood in October.