Leaves Changing Colors

This passage explains how and why leaves change color in the autumn.

Lexile Level: 630L

Categories: Science & Technology Animals & Nature


Every fall, the leaves on some trees turn different colors. Leaves are green in the spring and summer. The green color comes from a process trees use to make food. This process is called photosynthesis. The trees use sunlight, water, and air to make sugar. When fall comes, there is less sunlight. The trees stop making food. They need to rest for the winter. When they stop making food, they stop making the pigment that makes leaves green. This pigment is called chlorophyll. Then the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red. Leaves on each type of tree will turn a certain color. The weather decides how bright those colors will be. The leaves are more vibrant when there has been a wet spring, a mild summer, and a fall with warm days and cool nights. As winter approaches, the colored leaves fall to the ground.


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