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What is going on ?

I often get asked, as I am helping a customer load their truck with my beautifully split, perfectly dry,  clean burning  Portland firewood, about the changing of the leaves. What is going on, people ask, what causes the brilliant colors in our deciduous trees?

…just like you, they are preparing for winter….

Leaves are nature’s food factories.  Plants use sunlight to create a kind of sugar which they use as building blocks to grow. Leaves contain a chemical called Chlorophyll which helps them make the food, the process is called Photosynthesis which means, “putting it together with light”. Chlorophyll is what gives the plants their green color.

As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and the trees begin to shut down their food making factories in the leaves. The trees do this because in winter they will not receive as many hours of sun and they must rest and become dormant, essentially going into slow mode until the season changes and they can make more food to sustain their bodies. The green Chlorophyll disappears from the leaves,  but there is a small amount of remaining sugars in the leaves .  These trapped sugars have a chemical reaction stimulated by the cool evening temperatures and turn red, yellow, purple. Some trees do not have any sugars left in their leaves, only waste product- those trees such as Oaks, turn brown.

These colors have been inside the leaves all summer, yet because of the large amounts of green chlorophyll present, we cannot see them. As the Chlorophyll vanishes, the other colors are revealed.

It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors that we enjoy each year.

Now, don’t forget to get your home prepared for winter- we have all the hardwoods you need to keep you happy…. Until the sun, once again, returns !

Call us today at Dean Innovations for firewood and all your organic landscape product needs – 503-281-1637

Posted in Odds & Ends.