Almstead Tree & Shrub Care Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why Leaves Really Fall Off Trees

There was a great story on NPR about leaves "falling" from trees. In the spirit of celebrating the autumn season, here's a snippet! (A link to the full story is below...) 

We call this season the "fall" because all around us right now (if you live near leaf-dropping trees in a temporal zone), leaves are turning yellow and looking a little dry and crusty. So when a stiff breeze comes along, those leaves seem to "fall" off, thus justifying the name "fall." 

Sounds reasonable, no? But the truth is much more interesting. According to Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden and a renowned botanist, the wind doesn't gently pull leaves off trees. Trees are more proactive than that. They throw their leaves off. Instead of calling this season "The Fall," if trees could talk they'd call this the "Get Off Me" season.