Why leaves change their color
Autumn means shorter days and a color display in Minnesota’s forests. As we watch this colorful chemical reaction unfold before us, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Naturalist, Jim Cummings, says it’s a reminder to prepare for colder weather.
Cummings says leaves have multiple compounds that give off an array of colors. However, it’s the chlorophyll that’s the most dominate in the leaves, which gives them their color.
The DNR uses the colorful leaves as advertisers to convince visitors to enjoy the beauty of Minnesota’s state parks.
Cummings also says ample sunlight is key for the leaves to change colors. The more sunlight a leaf receives the brighter its color. He says if a leaf hides another another’s shadow that could reduce the production of color.
To find which state parks have the best color visit the DNR’s Fall Color Find page at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html