Menu
Home Membership/Donate Partner With Us Become a Member The Conservation Circle COL Endowment Business Members Honoraria & Memorials Preserving Land Preserving Land Why Preserve Land? How To Protect Your Land Partnership with The Pokagon Fund Glossary of Terms Protected Properties Map Our Preserves Burns Prairie Preserve Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Critter Haven Preserve Dayton Wet Prairie Preserve Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve Eleanor O'Connor Wilson Woods Preserve Flynn Woods Preserve Grand Beach Marsh Preserve Harbert Woods Preserve Jens Jensen Preserve Louis J. Sima Great Lakes Marsh Merganser Point Preserve Merritt Family Preserve Robinson Woods Preserve The Woods Preserve Turtle Creek Preserve Younger Family Preserve Visit Our Preserves Burns Prairie Preserve Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Grand Beach Marsh Preserve Jens Jensen Preserve Louis J. Sima Great Lakes Marsh Robinson Woods Preserve Turtle Creek Preserve Stewardship Stewardship Caring for the Land Volunteer Stewardship Ongoing Projects Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Improvements Flynn Woods Preserve Recreational Improvements Other Improvement Projects Invasive Species News & Events Latest News and Photos News Media Clips Photo Galleries COL Video Library Publications Current Newsletter Archived Newsletters Current 2019 Annual Report 2018 Annual Report Upcoming Events Events Calendar 10th Annual Barn Benefit About About About Chikaming Open Lands Milestones Current Audited Financial Statement Board of Directors Current COL Board of Directors Staff Current COL Staff Blog Contact

From the Weekend Alert Archives: Why Do Leaves Fall?

Posted on October 24, 2014

You may think it's because of the wind, or the cold weather. That's only a small part of the answer. Leaves don't really fall, the trees proactively expel them, using cellular "scissors." For a really interesting and detailed explanation of this process, listen to or read this story from NPR's All Things Considered.

In the report linked above, Peter Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and a renowned botanist, describes the leaves as a tree's "kitchen staff," making food for the tree. As the weather gets colder, food production slows down, so the tree makes the decision to let its staff go rather than keeping them on with nothing to do. If the tree were to keep its leaves, it risks that an early thaw followed by a re-freeze would mean a dead kitchen staff, and as a result, a dead tree. Better to just get rid of them and make new ones in the spring.