Why Do Deciduous Trees Lose Their Leaves?

Many types of deciduous trees are found in regions that experience cold and harsh winters. These trees shed their leaves so they can survive the cold winds that can damage them by removing moisture through the leaves. Through the shedding of leaves, trees can conserve moisture and energy in their trunks and branches. The loss of moisture can lead to trees dying.

The shedding of tree leaves occurs through a process called abscission. Deciduous trees are found typically in the Northern Hemisphere. Some species of deciduous trees are birch, ash, beech, maple and oak.

Unlike deciduous trees, most evergreen trees do not lose their leaves during winter. However, there can be exceptions. For example, the tamarack tree is a deciduous conifer, which has leaves that change color in the autumn, and then they fall off.