The Reason Why Deciduous Tree Leaves Change Color in Autumn

Many people look forward to fall. The beautiful colors and smells of autumn take the sting out of summer coming to an end. But when we are reveling in the gorgeous surroundings of the season, do we remember why the leaves change color in the first place? When the kids start asking why, you better be brushed up on all the facts!

Continue reading for some fun facts about why the leaves on deciduous trees change to an array of colors in Autumn.

Noblesville Indiana Tree Services 317-537-9770
Noblesville Indiana Tree Services 317-537-9770

Chlorophyll and Photosynthesis

The reds, purples, oranges, and yellows we see in tree leaves is actually the result of biological chemical reactions. The leaves are essentially “food factories” for trees. They manufacture the food needed for a tree to grow. The common green color seen in tree leaves is a result of a chemical called Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs sunlight, and uses its energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar and starch (carbohydrates).  This process is called photosynthesis.

The Important Job of Leaf Pigments

When the seasons change, trees naturally respond to the shorter days, decreased temperatures, and reduced sunlight by halting the production of Chlorophyll. Once the food factories stop, leaves will lose their green color, and reveal their true colors that lie hidden underneath the overpowering greens: yellows and oranges. These colors are thanks to carotene and xanthophyll pigments.

Carotene and xanthophyll pigments come to life once the green colors fade away. Some tree species, like Maples and Sumacs, have red or purple-like leaves caused by red anthocyanin pigments. Many oak trees change their leaves from green to brown, which is a result of a combination of the above-mentioned pigments. Low temperatures seem to intensify red pigments, while rainy weather seems to enhance yellows and oranges.

These colors only last for a brief period of time, so enjoy the autumn season while you can, before the first frost steals the brilliance from all the inspiring autumn colors! Talk to your trusted Noblesville tree care company professional for help protecting your landscaping trees from disease, pests, storm damage, and more.

Who to Call For Trusted Noblesville Indiana Tree Services

Call 317-537-9770 when you need professional tree services in Noblesville, Indiana. We are highly trained and experienced tree care technicians that offer a wide range of residential and commercial tree services at the most competitive prices in town. Whether you need routine tree service or major tree work, we are the professionals to trust for outstanding results in a convenient time frame.

The Parts of a Tree

Trees are one of the Earth’s most valuable and fascinating organisms. Not only do they provide our planet with a breathable atmosphere by emitting oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, they also provide habitats for millions of other living organisms, including us. These are just the start of an infinitely long list of advantages tree provide our world. So to pay homage to your landscaping trees, how about learning more about them? The more you know about trees, the more you can understand their importance and come to genuinely respect them. A great place to start is with their basic anatomy!

Continue reading to learn the fundamental parts of a tree and what they do.

Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770
Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770

🍂 Leaves

Tree leaves grow along twigs and branches, making up what we call the foliage of a tree. Leaves come in a wide range of shapes, textures, colors, and sizes, depending on the species of tree they are growing on. The primary role of tree leaves are to carry out a process known as photosynthesis, which involves converting the sun’s energy into food for the tree. They also serve the purpose of releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Depending on the shape and pattern of the leaves, they can also help with water runoff, reduce wind resistance, and more.

Although the color of  leaves vary greatly among all the species of trees, and even change color again and again according to the season, all leaves contain a green pigment called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is used in conjunction with the sun’s UV rays to make food, or carry out photosynthesis. Chlorophyll has many additional uses in our world, such as medicine for blood clotting and more.

🌿 Twigs and Branches

Twigs and branches are the extensions of wood that grow out of the tree’s trunk. They grow in all sorts of shapes and fashions depending on the species of tree. They serve the purpose of providing structure and support for the tree’s leaves, flowers, and fruit. Inside twigs and branches is an inner layer called the phloem that you’ll learn more about, next.  

🌲 Trunk

There are 5 different layers of a tree trunk. Starting with the outside bark, or outer bark, the layers continue to the phloem, then the cambium cell layer, then the sapwood, and ultimately, the heartwood. The outer bark is simply a protector for the inner layers.

The phloem, also known as the inner bark, serves as the food distribution pipeline for the entire tree. It lives for a short period of time, and then dies to become tree bark. The cambium cell layer is where active growth of the trunk takes place. The phloem passes down hormones called auxins that stimulate growth in cells, which allows the tree to produce new bark and wood every year. This is why you can tell a tree’s age by counting the rings inside the trunk.

Similar to the phloem that serves as a pipeline for food, the sapwood is the tree’s pipeline for water. This layer is new wood, and older layers of sapwood lose their vitality and turn into heartwood. Heartwood is the very inner core of the tree trunk, and it is dead wood. However, it is also the central pillar of structural support for a tree. And so long as all the other outer layers are intact, it will never weaken or rot.

🌱 Roots

Tree roots grow within the top 3 feet of the ground, around the base of a tree trunk, and are comprised of both large perennial roots and smaller, fleeting feeder roots. Not only do they absorb water and vital nutrients and store nutritional preserves for winter, they also act as an anchor, holding the tree down in its place.

Noblesville Tree Service You Can Trust

Call 317-537-9770 when you need professional tree service in Noblesville, Indiana. We are highly trained and experienced tree care technicians that offer a wide range of residential and commercial tree services at the most competitive prices in town. Whether you need routine tree service or major tree work, we are the professionals to trust for outstanding results in a convenient time frame.

How Do Trees Produce Oxygen?

The importance of trees cannot be exaggerated to any degree. This is because without trees, the Earth would be uninhabitable. Humans and wildlife could never survive without the benefits we receive from trees and other plant life. Trees do not actually “make” oxygen, but they do facilitate the production of breathable air. Continue reading to learn more about oxygen, trees, and our precious Eco-system and environment.


Trees and plant life use a process called photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to oxygen (O2). Photosynthesis literally means “to put together with light”. This means photosynthesis is driven by the power of the sun! You see, the sunlight is the “light” and bits of CO2 and water are the pieces being “put together”. Once a tree has these three ingredients (light, carbon dioxide, and water), it uses the sun’s energy to release the carbon from the CO2, and then combine it with water, making an environmental carbohydrate, or simply-put, sugar. These carbs and sugars are basically food for trees. When trees are making these carbohydrates, the excess water not used contains oxygen which is released into the air for our benefit! So you see, trees do not necessarily make oxygen for us, they are simply using photosynthesis to produce food that subsequently gives off extra oxygen for the surrounding environment! It’s all very fascinating!

For extra knowledge, it is fun to know that photosynthesis takes place in the cells that live inside each tree leaf. Did you know that just one tree is made up of trillions of cells? Tree cells also contain smaller special cells called Chloroplasts, where the photosynthesis actually takes place. Each cell can contain up to 100 Chloroplast cells. That’s a lot of oxygen for us! Inside the Chloroplasts are pigments that absorbs sunlight. You are surely familiar with the most common chloroplast pigment, Chlorophyll; which is green like most plants and tree leaves! For water, trees use their roots, tree trunks, and stems, to drink up the groundwater around them.

Humans and other wildlife breathe out carbon dioxide. Tree leaves have little pores that actually suck in the CO2 in the air. When the sunlight hits the chlorophyll, the chloroplasts invoke the suns energy in order to begin photosynthesis. Trees make the carbs and sugar they need, while releasing oxygen into the air through the tiny pores on its leaves.

Tree Service – Noblesville, Indiana

Noblesville Tree Pruning 317-537-9770

Noblesville Tree Pruning 317-537-9770

Call 317-537-9770 for professional tree service in Noblesville, Indiana. We are highly trained, qualified, and reputable tree care technicians with decades of experience in the tree removal and service industry. We provide a wide-range of tree services for residential and commercial properties in Indianapolis; including tree transplanting, tree removal, tree diseases, tree protection, tree damage repair, pruning, trimming, shaping, stump removal, and much more. Call us for a free estimate to remove a tree in Noblesville, IN and its nearby counties.