Fall color

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Fall color

Post  Jake16 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:03 pm

I was wondering about how fall color works. Is there a way to make fall color better(leaves stay on longer with color)? Does it get better with age? ONe of my trees is still realllllllyyyy green and alot of the same tree (older of course) in the woods have already turned.

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Re: Fall color

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:56 pm

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html

As for your trees and those in the woods. Growing conditions are VASTLY different. Your tees presumably are protected near your house. Those out in the woodlot are exposed to the elements.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Fall color

Post  Jake16 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:48 pm

I wonder if I put my tree is less light if it will turn color

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Re: Fall color

Post  JudyB on Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:23 pm

Sunlight can make fall colors stronger, but I doubt that moving your tree will change when it will color. You will just have to let it do it's thing in it's own time, there is little you can do to spur it that I know of.

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Re: Fall color

Post  Stan Kengai on Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:16 pm

Leaf senescence (autumnal color change) is an extremely complex process that depends on both internal and external factors. The process is controlled by plant genetics and the timing depends mainly on daylight period and temperature. Note how different cultivars of the same species often display different leaf color, different timing, and different period lengths (genetically controlled). Also note how the same plant species (e.g. dogwoods) will produce better color given more light (environmental factor).

Senescence begins when the plant (through hormones) tells the leaves to stop producing sugars, and to start catabolizing protiens, chlorophyl and lipids. The sugars that are left in the leaves at this point are what makes the fall colors. The concentration of those sugars determines the brilliance of the colors - more concentrated sugars (less water) create better color. The different colors (yellow, red, purple) come from different types of sugar in the leaves (sucrose, fructose and glucose). Different plants make different amounts of these sugars, and to further complicate the matter, leaves often produce different levels of these sugars depending on their location on the plant.

Realistically, there are only two things we can do to affect leaf senescence, without adding hormones or artificially modifying hormone production. The easiest is to limit water in the fall before and during senescence, giving better leaf color. The other is to experiment with different fertilizers, which may affect the types of sugars produced, and hence leaf color.

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Re: Fall color

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