Monday, 21 October 2013

Trees in Autumn

One of the principles of Permaculture is to observe and interact. 

When viewing a simple photo of the start of Autumn I thought about what makes the leaves change colour and this lead to wondering why the same tree species planted together changes leaf colour at different rates. How trees grow is a lot more complex than I am about to portray but for the reason of trying to answer the question of why 3 same trees planted together change colour differently it is sufficient to start the ball rolling.

Marston Vale Forest School 2013
Chlorophyll is responsible for the colour and it is this that enables the tree to take water and Carbon Dioxide from the environment and convert it into sugars needed to grow. As the Chlorophyll diminishes other colour pigments can be seen which give browns, yellows and reds.

I began to think that the amount of Chlorophyll in the leaves may well be directly linked to how healthy the tree is. Those changing colour first may have less Chlorophyll and therefore were perhaps growing slower. If this is the case then perhaps it is an indication of which trees in the garden need more nutrients and minerals or are suffering from competition and need attention or removing.

Some more reading is required. The picture was taken from Marston Vale Forest School

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