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I Didn’t Know That!

By Donnetta Wilhelm, Colorado Master Gardener

Kebler Pass, Photo: Fox 21 News Colorado

Fall Colors on the Way

It won’t be long before we see the beautiful assortment of yellows, oranges, reds, and maroons that paint gorgeous leaf colors across our landscapes. The green pigment in leaves is chlorophyll, which requires sunlight and warm temperatures. Long, hot, summer days are ideal conditions for producing chlorophyll. As days get shorter and cooler, these lower temperatures destroy the chlorophyll. As the green pigment slows and eventually stops, this exposes the carotenoids and anthocyanins. Carotenoids are the yellow, orange, and red pigments, and anthocyanins are the blue, red, and purple pigments found in leaves, flowers, and fruits. Read all about tree chemistry here.

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