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Why Do Trees Turn Colors During Fall?

Always wondered what makes trees cascade so many beautiful colors during fall? Leaves are colored by molecules called pigments and the pigment that makes leaves green is chlorophyll which is important for plants to make food using sunlight. During the warmer spring and summer months where there is plenty of sunlight, plants make plenty of chlorophyll.

In fall when it starts to get cold, some plants stop making chlorophyll. Instead, those plants break down chlorophyll into smaller molecules and as chlorophyll goes away, other pigments start to show their colors which is why leaves turn yellow, orange, and red in fall.

Want to discover some beautiful fall colors in Missouri? We found a great guide on the six best scenic drives this autumn: