Archive for November 2nd, 2010

Why Autumn Leaves Change Color

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

You can witness some amazing autumn scenery at Lost Maples State Natural Area when the Big Tooth Maples get busy.

06—Autumn’s a good time to come to Lost Maples cuz of the Fall foliage and brilliant colors we have here.

Park Superintendent, John Stuart, says it’s going to be a colorful year due to lots of cool nights and sunny days. The leaves of these maples may be charmed into changing because of the weather, but the real magic…that happens inside these chlorophyll factories.

33—Most of the year, when the leaves are green, you have a lot of chlorophyll in the plant; and that’s what actually feeds the tree and keeps it growing. And if the water supply is cut off and cold weather comes around, then the chlorophyll breaks down and leaves the other pigments remaining. On cloudy warm days, starches form tannins and they make it brown. And If it’s cold and sunny, then the sugars come to bear on the leaf, and they form with the proteins and it makes the beautiful colors we enjoy when we come out here.

It’s not just the colors that are special. They call the trees Big Tooth Maples because their leaves have deep cuts or ridges in them; and you don’t find them many other places.

11—The Ice Age wiped out most of the Big Tooth Maples across the continent. These are just surviving pockets. So they’re lost simply because what are they doing out there by their selves.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Check out the Foliage Color Change Report at Lost Maples State Natural Area.