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Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall

02 NOV 2022

Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall

As fall approaches, property owners need to appreciate the spectacular foliage of the season. While it is common to see leaves change color this time of year, what does it mean for your trees? Working with a professional tree care company like Sesmas Tree Service is essential to ensure you maintain a lush and appealing landscape throughout the year. Understanding why foliage changes color goes a long way in providing the care your trees need.

If you revisit middle school science lessons, chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants, cyanobacteria, and algae. The pigment plays a vital role in photosynthesis, which allows the conversion of light into energy. As summer ends and temperatures change, chlorophyll breaks down, forming varying pigments, such as orange, red, and yellow.

Foliage Colors in Fall

These colors are more vibrant at the beginning of autumn, when there are bright days and cool nights. To provide your trees with the proper care and maintenance, consult a trusted tree service to leverage their extensive industry knowledge and expertise. Let’s look at the reasons for the different foliage colors this fall.


Chlorophyll plays a vital role in helping plants turn sunlight into energy. The green pigment is dominant for most of the months, but fall is when it fades away. When winter finally arrives, trees turn to stored sugar to survive the dormant season. Therefore, providing routine maintenance inspections ensures your trees remain in top-notch condition throughout the year.


Red is the most noticeable sign on foliage, indicating changes in season. You know it is autumn when you see beautiful red maples, sumacs, and scarlet oaks. Most leaf colors exist within the leaf, but anthocyanin is produced as chlorophyll breaks down. If the trees listed are not found in your area, the chestnut oak is another anthocyanin you can check out this fall.

Orange – Carotene

Carotene is known as the chemical responsible for the orange color in carrots. However, only some know that it is also vital for changes in leaf color. If you have a super maple in your backyard, you can see carotene in action every fall. A professional tree care company can help you take better care of such trees by ensuring they are healthy throughout the year.


Autumn is not the same without the magnificent yellow hues found on ashes, beeches, birches, aspens, and oaks. Xanthophyll is not limited to trees as it also contributes the yellow pigment to autumn squash and corn. With everything that goes on in the fall, from pumpkin-spiced dishes to football and the fantastic foliage, it's daunting to take on repairs and maintenance.

Our tree service experts take this opportunity to provide the right amount of fertilizer, hydrate, and plant trees. We provide various services to help you maintain healthy trees without breaking the bank. Contact us at Sesmas Tree Service and schedule a consultation with our experienced team of arborists.