Sandwiched between Summer and Winter, Autumn can be a miserable time of year, wet, windy, misty and foggy but one thing brightens it up for sure, the Autumn colours.
Source of Autumn Colour
Three components account for the changing leaf colour on deciduous trees and shrubs at this time of year.
- Plants predominant green colour is due to Chlorophyll. As Autumn approaches it breaks down and loses its dominance allowing other pigments to show through
- Yellow and orange shades due to Carotenoids, as in carrots
- Red and Purple tints are due to Anthocyanins, in Copper Beech these dominate the Chlorophyll in Summer
Colours vary with the amount of each pigment present and seasonal effects. Some species such as Maples are more dramatic.
New England in The Fall
Every year, thousands of “Leaf Peepers” venture to the US’s North-East to witness the dramatic Autumn colour. The Sugar Maple Tree, the source of Maple Syrup is the most dramatic. New England enjoys bright mild Autumn days and cool nights, ideal conditions for vivid colour. The change starts in the state of Maine working its way down to New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. The season runs from mid September to mid-October most years. The US Forest website is the place to track progress.