Turning of the leaves

Roger Miller – IN THE SUMMERTIME Lyrics

(You Don’t Want My Love)

In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green
And the redbird sings, I’ll be blue
‘Cause you don’t want my love …
Some other time, that’s what you say, when I want you
Then you laugh at me and make me cry
‘Cause you don’t want my love.

You don’t seem to care a thing about me
You’d rather live without me, than to have my arms around you
When the nights are cold and you’re so all alone
In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green
And the redbird sings, I’ll be blue
‘Cause you don’t want my love.

Once upon a time, you used to smile and wave to me
And walk with me, but now you don’t
‘Cause you don’t want my love …
Some other guy is takin’ up all your time
Now you don’t have time for me
‘Cause you don’t want my love.

You don’t seem to care a thing about me
You’d rather live without me, than to have my arms around you
When the nights are cold and you’re so all alone
In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green
And the redbird sings, I’ll be blue
‘Cause you don’t want my love.

Andy Williams( Howard Andrew Williams )

Andy Williams( Howard Andrew Williams )
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In The Summertime Lyrics

(You Don’t Want My Love)
In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green
And the redbird sings, I’ll be blue
‘Cause you don’t want my love …
Some other time, that’s what you say, when I want you
Then you laugh at me and make me cry
‘Cause you don’t want my love.
You don’t seem to care a thing about me
You’d rather live without me, than to have my arms around you
When the nights are cold and you’re so all alone
In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green
And the redbird sings, I’ll be blue
‘Cause you don’t want my love.
Once upon a time, you used to smile and wave to me
And walk with me, but now you don’t
‘Cause you don’t want my love …
Some other guy is takin’ up all your time
Now you don’t have time for me
‘Cause you don’t want my love.
You don’t seem to care a thing about me
You’d rather live without me, than to have my arms around you
When the nights are cold and you’re so all alone
In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green
And the redbird sings, I’ll be blue
‘Cause you don’t want my love.

by Patrick Anderson | photo, Trees in Four Seasons by Degi

As seasons go through their changes, trees react to this annual cycle. Following a tree through our four seasons is much more interesting and dramatic than we give these majestic beings credit for.

Spring Growth

Starting in spring, trees begin reacting to increasingly longer periods of daylight and warming temperatures. Cued by specialized detection cells, buds begin to open and new leaves begin to expand. Chlorophyll production begins which gives way to photosynthesis in these new leaves. Photosynthesis produces sugars which precipitate a period of rapid growth. New twig growth extends towards the sun, while new wood is created to support the above-ground mass of the tree. Roots are also extremely active in spring, as they grow to find water and absorb nutrients to support all of the metabolic processes occurring within the plant.

Summer Slow Down

As spring moves to summer, and daytime temperature highs increase, growth slows. The enzymes that power photosynthesis cease to function during the heat of the day. In many years, summer is also accompanied by decreased precipitation and low soil moisture, contributing to slow a tree’s physiological processes. That being said, most all buds containing next year’s leaves are set by mid-summer.

Falling Leaves

As summer sways to autumn, day length begins to shorten and trees respond by creating less chlorophyll. Of all the colors on the light spectrum, green is least useful to plants for photosynthesis. Green light is reflected from leaves, giving them their hue during spring and summer. In deciduous trees, as chlorophyll breaks down in response to longer nights, more green is allowed to absorb into the leaf. Anthocyanins and carotenoids are leaf compounds which are left behind and reflect reds and yellows respectively. Warm fall days followed by cool nights combined with adequate soil moisture is the combination for stellar fall leaf displays.

Winter Dormancy

Trees begin their preparation for dormancy in fall so they can survive through winter. In deciduous trees, a layer of ‘scar tissue’ is formed between the leaf and branch attachment known as the abscission zone. Leaves are then dropped by a combination of gravity and wind. Hormones are produced that help prevent cells from winter dehydration. Likewise, cells are infused with compounds (lipids) that help prevent cells from freezing. The process of freezing water outside of these cells actually gives off some heat that can be absorbed by living cells of the tree.

Trees are remarkable organisms. Their ability to withstand extremes in our dynamic environment is quite a credit. As you are staring out your front window, admiring the your favorite tree, think for a moment just how much is happening at that occasion just under the bark of the seemingly peaceful being.

If you have questions or concerns about changes happening in your trees, please call Limbwalker at (502)634-0400 to schedule an appointment with one of our Certified Arborists®.

Early Color Change Of Foliage: What To Do For Tree Leaves Turning Early

The brilliant colors of fall are a beautiful and eagerly-awaited marking of time, but when those leaves should be green because it’s still August, it’s time to start asking some questions. If you notice tree leaves turning early, there’s a good chance that something is very wrong with your tree’s situation. Early leaf color change is a signal of stress and you should treat it like a giant neon distress sign.

Early Color Change of Foliage

When your tree is so stressed from something in its environment that it starts to change colors, you’re witnessing a last stand of sorts. Your tree’s leaves start to change colors, even under normal conditions, due to a lack of chlorophyll. This can happen when the tree starts to prepare itself for winter, or it can happen when the tree or shrub perceives a threat to its well-being.

Many biologists believe that an early color change is an attempt of a tree to rid itself of insect pests, especially those that feed on the juices in the cells. These insects have evolved with these trees and shrubs, and understand that when the chemical process behind the leaves changing color begins, their meal ticket ends. Rather than feeding on other leaves, many will move on in search of a better food source.

In the case of tree leaves turning partially red too early, especially in maples, branch dieback is often to blame. Additionally, a nitrogen deficiency may be present.

Dealing with Stressed Out Plants and Early Leaf Color Change

In essence, leaves changing color too early is a defensive mechanism that allows the stressed out shrub or tree to eliminate at least one source of trouble. That’s really awesome, but what does it mean for you? It means you need to check your tree closely for signs of injury, including natural cracks and damage from lawn mowers. Ask yourself, did you water it through that dry spell during the summer? Did it get enough nutrients to help it grow? Is it, in fact, infested with bugs?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s easy to correct the conditions causing your early leaf color change. Look for any wounds and tend to them if you can, begin watering your tree more liberally when it gets dry, and check it carefully for signs of insect pests on a regular basis.

A color change in your tree isn’t the end of the world, it’s the tree’s way of telling you that it needs help badly.

Ever wonder why leaves change color? Did you know that fall’s vivid colors are actually hidden underneath summer’s green color? Also, the main reason for color change is not weather, but light, or actually the lack of it. Learn more.

Why do Leaves Change Color?

First of all, not all leaves turn vivid colors in the fall. Only a few of our many species of deciduous trees—notably maple, aspen, oak, and gum—produce stellar performances for our annual autumn spectacular in North America.

Several factors contribute to fall color (temperature, precipitation, soil moisture), but the main agent is light, or actually the lack of it. The amount of daylight relates to the timing of the autumnal equinox.

As the autumn days grow shorter, the reduced light triggers chemical changes in deciduous plants causing a corky wall to form between the twig and the leaf stalk. This corky wall eventually causes the leaf to drop off in the breeze. As the corky cells multiply, they seal off the vessels that supply the leaf with nutrients and water and also block the exit vessels, trapping simple sugars in the leaves. The combination of reduced light, lack of nutrients, and no water add up to the death of the pigment chlorophyll, the “green” in leaves.

Once the green is gone, two other pigments show their bright faces. These pigments, carotene (yellow) and anthocyanin (red), exist in the leaf all summer but are masked by the chlorophyll which helps plants absorb sunlight. (The browns in autumn leaves are the result of tannin, a chemical that exists in many leaves, especially oaks.)

Sugar trapped in autumn leaves by the corky wall (the abscission layer) is largely responsible for the vivid color. Some additional anthocyanins are also manufactured by sunlight acting on the trapped sugar. This is why the foliage is so sparkling after several bright fall days and more pastel during rainy spells.

What Brings the Best Fall Foliage?

In general, a wet growing season followed by an autumn with lots of sunny days, dry weather, and cold, frostless nights will produce the most vibrant palette of fall colors. This vividness is especially true of red leaves, such as those on sugar maples and red maple trees.

Check your long range forecast to see whether a dry autumn is in your future.

Of course, if freezing temperatures and a hard frost hit, it can kill the process within the leaf and lead to poor fall color. Check the frost dates in your area!

Also, drought conditions during late summer and early fall can trigger an early “shutdown” of trees as they prepare for winter, causing leaves to fall early from trees without reaching their full color potential.

Where Can You Find the Most Beautiful Autumn Leaves?

Does your area experience fall foliage? Some level of autumn foliage changes in most regions of North America, but it’s New England, the upper Midwest, the Rocky Mountains, and parts of the Appalachians that hold the jackpot for leaf peepers. The right climate and light conditions and an abundance of the tree varieties that hoard colorful pigments come together in these places.

While tradition has it that Columbus Day weekend is when the color peaks in New England, the mythical maximum occurs in northern Maine in mid- to late September and “travels” south, reaching the Connecticut shore by late October.

Learn More about Leaves

Check out our Fall Foliage Map to see when leaves start to change in your area. Don’t forget to make a foliage report to let others know when the trees in your neighborhood reach their peak, too!

Below is an animation of the changing leaves from past years, based on the foliage reports from our readers. This map can give you an idea of when leaves typically start to change across the country.

Are the leaves starting to fall in your garden? Find out how to do fall clean-up right, then what to do with fall leaves!

How are the fall leaves looking in your area? Let us know below! We hope you have a beautiful autumn.

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

  • Where do leaf colors come from?
  • How do leaves change color?
  • Do leaves change color because of weather?
  • Why do leaves fall?
  • Fall Color Report (Dept. of Tourism)

While you were playing in the hot sun during summer vacation the trees on the streets, in the parks, and in the forests were working hard to keep you cool. To feed the shiny green leaves that make shade, trees use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugar. This is called photosynthesis.

Now it’s autumn, and you’re ready — okay, almost ready — to be back in school. Those hardworking trees, on the other hand, need to take a break from all that photosynthesizing. When leaves change color from green to yellow, bright orange, or red, you’ll know that trees are beginning their long winter’s rest.

Where do leaf colors come from?

Leaf color comes from pigments. Pigments are natural substances produced by leaf cells. The three pigments that color leaves are:

  • chlorophyll (green)
  • carotenoid (yellow, orange, and brown)
  • anthocyanin (red)

Chlorophyll is the most important of the three. Without the chlorophyll in leaves, trees wouldn’t be able to use sunlight to produce food.

Carotenoids create bright yellows and oranges in familiar fruits and vegetables. Corn, carrots, and bananas are just a few of the many plants colored by carotenoid.

Anthocyanins add the color red to plants, including cranberries, red apples, cherries, strawberries and others.

Chlorophyll and carotenoid are in leaf cells all the time during the growing season. But the chlorophyll covers the carotenoid — that’s why summer leaves are green, not yellow or orange. Most anthocyanins are produced only in autumn, and only under certain conditions. Not all trees can make anthocyanin.

How do leaves change color?

As the Earth makes its 365-day journey around the sun, some parts of the planet will get fewer hours of sunlight at certain times of the year. In those regions, the days become shorter and the nights get longer. The temperature slowly drops. Autumn comes, and then winter.

Trees respond to the decreasing amount of sunlight by producing less and less chlorophyll. Eventually, a tree stops producing chlorophyll. When that happens, the carotenoid already in the leaves can finally show through. The leaves become a bright rainbow of glowing yellows, sparkling oranges and warm browns. What about red leaves? Read on.

Do leaves change because of weather?

Perhaps you’ve noticed that in some years, the red fall colors seem brighter and more spectacular than in other years. The temperature and cloud cover can make a big difference in a tree’s red colors from year to year.

When a number of warm, sunny autumn days and cool but not freezing nights come one after the other, it’s going to be a good year for reds. In the daytime, the leaves can produce lots of sugar, but the cool night temperatures prevent the sugar sap from flowing through the leaf veins and down into the branches and trunk. Anthocyanins to the rescue! Researchers have found out that anthocyanins are produced as a form of protection. They allow the plant to recover nutrients in the leaves before they fall off. This helps make sure that the tree will be ready for the next growing season. Anthocyanins give leaves their bright, brilliant shades of red, purple and crimson.

The yellow, gold and orange colors created by carotenoid remain fairly constant from year to year. That’s because carotenoids are always present in leaves and the amount does not change in response to weather.

The amount of rain in a year also affects autumn leaf color. A severe drought can delay the arrival of fall colors by a few weeks. A warm, wet period during fall will lower the intensity, or brightness, of autumn colors. A severe frost will kill the leaves, turning them brown and causing them to drop early. The best autumn colors come when there’s been:

  • a warm, wet spring
  • a summer that’s not too hot or dry, and
  • a fall with plenty of warm sunny days and cool nights.

Can you tell a tree from its colors?

You can use fall leaf color to help identify different tree species. Look for these leaf colors on the trees in your neighborhood:

  • Oaks: red, brown or russet
  • Hickories: golden bronze
  • Dogwood: purple-red
  • Birch: bright yellow
    • paper birch
    • yellow birch
  • Poplar: golden yellow
  • Maple trees show a whole range of colors:
    • Sugar Maple: orange-red
    • Black Maple: glowing yellow
    • Red Maple: bright scarlet

Why do leaves fall?

A tree’s roots, branches and twigs can endure freezing temperatures, but most leaves are not so tough. On a broadleaf tree — say a maple or a birch — the tender thin leaves, made up of cells filled with water sap, will freeze in winter. Any plant tissue unable to live through the winter must be sealed off and shed to ensure the tree’s survival.

As sunlight decreases in autumn, the veins that carry sap into and out of a leaf gradually close. A layer of cells, called the separation layer, forms at the base of the leaf stem. When this layer is complete, the leaf is separated from the tissue that connected it to the branch, and it falls. Oak leaves are the exception. The separation layer never fully detaches the dead oak leaves, and they remain on the tree through winter.

Evergreen trees — pines, spruces, cedars and firs — don’t lose their leaves, or needles, in winter. The needles are covered with a heavy wax coating and the fluids inside the cells contain substances that resist freezing. Evergreen leaves can live for several years before they fall and are replaced by new growth.

On the ground, fallen leaves are broken down by bacteria, fungi, earthworms and other organisms. The decomposed leaves restock the soil with nutrients, and become part of the spongy humus layer on the forest floor that absorbs and holds rainfall. In nature, nothing goes to waste!

The Process of Leaf Color Change

Leaves change color during the autumn because the amounts of pigments change as the leaves prepare to fall from the trees. All leaves gradually lose chlorophyll during the growing season, and this loss accelerates before leaf fall. Under optimal conditions this process of chlorophyll loss is very orderly and allows the plants to resorb much of the nitrogen in the structure of the pigment molecule. Carotenoid pigments are also lost from the plastids during aging, but some of them are retained in the plastids after the chlorophyll is removed; this produces autumn leaves with yellow colors. In unusual cases, sometimes in winterberry holly, a fair amount of chlorophyll is left in the leaves when they fall. Such leaves are a pale green in color, or perhaps yellow-green from the mixture of chlorophyll and carotenoids.

Most interesting are leaves that turn red, because this color is the result of the active synthesis of anthocyanin pigments just before the leaves fall from the trees. This is the most common color of autumn leaves; about 70 % of shrubs and trees at the Harvard Forest produce anthocyanins during the senescence of the leaves. In these leaves, the actual shades of red are the consequences of the amounts of anthocyanin, the retention of carotenoids (or even a little chlorophyll). Anthocyanin and chlorophyll produce brownish colors. Anthocyanins and carotenoids produce orange hues. In some plants the color production is quite uniform, as in hobblebush or blueberry. In other plants, leaves vary between individuals (as sugar maples) or even dramatically within an individual (as red maples), or even within a single leaf (red maples).

View Color Change in Red Oak or Witch Hazel

The Sequence of Changes in a Healthy Leaf

-Chloroplasts lose chlorophylls
-Anthocyanins made and move to vacuoles
-Chlorophylls broken down
-Anthocyanins increase in concentration
-Carotenoids left in chloroplasts
-Lower cells still with chloroplasts
-Chlorophylls break down to reveal remaining carotenoids
-No anthrocyanin produced

Autumn Leaves and Fall Foliage
Why Do Fall Leaves Change Color?by Science Made Simple

Why Do Leaves Change Color in Autumn?

We all enjoy the colors of autumn leaves. The changing fall foliage never fails to surprise and delight us. Many areas in the United States are among the best in the world for leaf viewing, including New England, the Southeast, the Northwest and the Great Lakes regions.

Find maps, dates, and best scenic drives for fall colors
Search now for “fall foliage”

Did you ever wonder how and why a fall leaf changes color? Why a maple leaf turns bright red? Where do the yellows and oranges come from?

To answer those questions, we first have to understand what leaves are and what they do.


Leaves are nature’s food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Oxygen is a gas in the air that we need to breathe. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing.

The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis. That means “putting together with light.” A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

Autumn Preparations for Winter

Plants are busy growing all summer long and into autumn. But the dark, dry days of winter are coming. As the days get shorter, trees use this signal to “know” it’s time to begin getting ready for winter.

During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. br>

As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.

The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color.

The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves.

It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors we enjoy each year.

LEARN MORE → about the bright colors of autumn leaves, and how plants survive through the winter.

Easy Reading – The Colors of Fall Leaves

Plants make their own food. They take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. They turn water and carbon dioxide into food and oxygen. Oxygen is a gas in the air that we need to breathe.

Plants make their food using sunlight and something called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color.

Winter days are short and dry. Many plants stop making food in the fall. The chlorophyll goes away. Then we can see orange and yellow colors. These colors were in the leaves all summer, but the green covered them up.

Some leaves turn red. This color is made in the fall, from food trapped in the leaves.

Brown colors are also made in the fall. They come from wastes left in the leaves.

How Do Plants Prepare for Winter?

Plants are busy growing all summer long. But how do they survive the dark, dry days of winter?
Read More →

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