Why do Trees Shed their Leaves?
When I was little, my mom and I got into an argument because I was convinced it was fall. Our yard in central Austin had a number of large live oak trees that shed their leaves in the spring. Naturally, it made sense to me that “when the leaves fall, it is clearly fall”. How are you supposed to explain the difference between evergreen and deciduous to a 3 year old?
Here are some down and dirty, untechnical explanations:
Deciduous vs Evergreen
This may seem obvious, but:
- Deciduous drop their leaves (Think “d” is for drop”)
- Evergreen are “ever green”.
Why trees drop their leaves:
- conserve energy and water
- When the sun is farther away (winter) and the days are shorter (winter), deciduous tree drop their leaves because it is not optimal photosynthesis season.
- The shedding of leaves may also help trees to pollinate come springtime. Without leaves to get in the way, wind-blown pollen can travel longer distances and reach more trees. (https://earthsky.org/earth/why-do-trees-shed-their-leaves)
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