The Black Gum

This Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) will soon display intense red fall color with hues of orange, yellow, and purple.

For those who love autumn and everything about it, the bright colors of autumn are going to dissipate before our eyes quickly, almost even before they appear. In fact, will they appear this year? What affects autumn leaves this way? Where can we go to see the autumn colors at their peak of brilliance?

The actual phenomenon of leaves changing colors in the fall of the year is directly related to chlorophyll production. Chlorophyll is the green substance in leaves that interacts with sunlight to feed the trees. Changing weather conditions trigger the trees to begin to store sugar in their roots for the coming year’s growth. Temperatures dip and days shorten. Chlorophyll breaks down and leaf colors change.

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