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How Do Leaves Change Color?

Posted: Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 6:26 am
Author: KCII News - Nathan Swenson

The transition between summer and winter is evident across southeast Iowa. According to Iowa State University Extension Horticulture expert, Patrick O’Malley, the colors that you see this fall are dependent on the pigments produced by the tree. He says that once the chlorophyll that causes the green in leaves goes away with shorter days, pigments that cause yellow and orange colors, like lycopene and carotenoids, become visible.