|The green leaves that we see in the spring and summer are food factories for the tree. Through a process known as photosynthesis the leaves produce the sugars and carbohydrates necessary for the survival of the plant. The American Heritage Dictionary defines photosynthesis as: The process in green plants and certain other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source..
Since the days are longer in the spring and summer there is more sunlight to produce the sugars and carbohydrates. But as the day length shortens in the fall the trees sense the onset of winter, and the imminent reduction of this important component necessary to produce food. At this point the tree will start to isolate the leaf by developing a new layer of cells between the tree and the leaf. Eventually the leaf will be cut off from the tree and will cease the process of photosynthesis. As the fall stretches into winter the leaf will eventually fall from the tree.
Close this window to return to the previous page