Falling Leaves

Activity:

Pick a tree to watch during the fall. When the leaves start changing colors, try and predict how long it will be before leaves starting dropping off the tree. Notice from which side of the tree leaves fall first. Are all the trees losing their leaves at the same time? Try and see if one leaf hangs on the longest.

Questions to ask:

Do green leaves fall off of trees? (Most of the time the leaves that fall are not green. The green leaves are still making food for the tree, and have water inside the leaves.)

What makes the leaves fall off? (When the leaves stop making food for the trees the green goes away. The leaves begin to dry out and eventually the stem of the leaf breaks off and the leaf falls.)

Doesn’t the tree need food in the winter? (Trees with leaves that fall off of trees “rest” during the winter. Their leaves don’t make food and the tree can wait until spring to start using the food from the leaves to grow.)

What about the trees that stay green all winter? (Trees that stay green, (evergreens) have different kinds of leaves, that look more like needles or flat, skinny leaves. Their leaves have a waxy coat on them to hold the water inside so they won’t dry out in the winter.)