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THE CHANGING COLOUR OF TREES

In many parts of Australia and the world, people enjoy one of nature's finest shows: Autumn foliage.

Leaves can be thought of as small factories containing raw materials, products and by-products, all in chemical form and some with colour. As the leaf is "abandoned" by the tree, the green chlorophyll--the dominant chemical found in most leaves--is broken down and "recycled" by the tree, leaving behind other-coloured chemicals. Supply lines to the leaves also become clogged. If the major chemical remaining in the abandoned leaf is red, then the leaf turns red. If itís yellow, then the leaf turns yellow, and so on.

The yearly variation in colour intensity is due to varying weather conditions, which can affect the balance of chemicals and their composition in the leaves. Differing amounts of rainfall, sunlight, temperature, humidity and other factors may have an effect on how bright, how quickly and how long the "leaf-peeping" season will be in any given year.

Colour-changing leaves make for a beautiful display, but early changes in leaf-colour can be a sign that your tree is stressed and is susceptible to insect and disease attack.

If the leaves on your trees seem to have gotten a jump-start on autumn compared with those on similar trees in the area, then you might want to consult a professional arborist, who can identify any problems and offer possible solutions.

Premature colours can be an indication that a tree isnít vigorous enough to withstand insects and disease organisms that may attack it, not to mention the usual changes that occur when the weather turns cold. Occasionally only one or two limbs of the tree will show premature fall colour. This could be a sign of a disease at work, weakening only the infected limbs. The more common situation is for the entire tree to exhibit premature fall colouration, a phenomenon usually linked to root-related stress. Trees respond to these stresses by trying to curtail their above-ground growth.


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Last modified: 20 March, 2019

AUSINSPECT is well equipped to carry out specialised building works, termite treatments, termite nest location, termite nest eradication, effective repairs to buildings and property maintenance. We own our own machinery and truck for efficient, cost effective undertaking of works, our specialty is the repair of termite damaged and decayed structures.

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