Photosynthesis is how plants turn sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into food. The leaves are like food factories for the plant. The chlorophyll in the leaves helps them make food. This is also what causes most leaves to be a green color part of the year, in the growing season. All plants have chlorophyll.
In the fall the days get short and there is less sunlight. The leaf's cholorphyll gets drawn into the tree and what remains are different colors from yellow, red to purple shades. Yellow and orange shades are colors that first appear from a fading green leaf.
Why do leaves change into different colors? The amount of water can affect a leaf's color. Scientists believe that trees have had different colors for a very long time and it's determined by their genetic makeup. The colors may act as a type of sunscreen, protecting the chlorophyll and other chemicals in the leaves.
Leaves that turn red to purple have glucose, a type of sugar, left in their leaves. Dry and cool weather causes leaves to turn brown.
A leaf is a part of a plant that is flat and thin. It makes food from sunlight.
Veins carry food and water in the leaf. They also give the leaf structure.
A leaf stem supports the leaf and moves minerals, water and food to the plant..