CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Certain trees can be uniquely identified by the color their leaves turn in the fall.
In some cases, a tree’s common name is from its primary autumn leaf color, like red maple, and yellow poplar, according to Treehugger. The most common colors of leaves in the fall are red, yellow, and orange, and some tree species can express several colors at the same time as the season progresses.
All leaves in the summer start out as green because of the presence of a group of green pigments known as chlorophyll, which is the tree’s main means of producing nutrients. Autumn destroys chlorophyll, and previously masked colors come forward. Two other pigments present in leaves are Carotenoid, which produces yellow, orange, and brown, and Anthocyanin, which produces red.
Right now there is some very good color being reported in parts of northern New England. It’s looking like there will be some good color here in western Massachusetts over the next couple of weeks.
Trees with red leaves
Red is produced by warm, sunny fall days, as well as cool fall nights.
Maples, sweetgum, and oaks have red fall leaves. Dogwoods, black tupelo trees, sourwood trees, persimmons, and some sassafras trees also have red leaves.
Yellow and Orange Shades
Chlorophyll is destroyed in the fall, which reveals the orange and yellow leaf colors, or carotenoid pigments.
Hickory, ash, some maples, the yellow poplar (tulip tree), some oaks (white, chestnut, bear), some sassafras, some sweetgum, beech, birch, and sycamore trees have yellow leaves in the fall.
Some trees stay green
Not all broadleaf trees change colors and drop their leaves. In some southern climates, some evergreens broadleaf trees can survive tough winters, along with magnolias, some oaks, and myrtles are among them.
Some trees have a more brilliant color display than others, it all depends on weather conditions. The temperature, the amount of sunlight, and how much rain fell all are the main factors in color intensity and in how long they’ll remain.
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