Q:

What are the usual foliage colors present in autumn in New England?

A:

Quick Answer

During autumn in New England, the leaves change from green to gold, red, purple and orange. The dense concentration of sugar maple trees produces the most brilliant colors. The colorful pigments break down in colder weather, leaving behind only brown pigments in the dry, brittle leaves.

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Full Answer

During the growing season, the chlorophyll in leaves continues to renew. The green chlorophyll hides the yellow and orange pigments that are generally present throughout the life cycle of the leaf. As the chlorophyll production slows down and stops in the autumn, the other pigments emerge in colorful patterns. Sugars trapped in the leaves as they begin to die produce red and purple pigments.

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