Skip Navigation

Leaves in autumn

autumn leavesDeciduous or broadleaved trees need to prepare for the oncoming cold winter temperatures or else soft leaf tissue and the fluids inside leaves would freeze. In autumn, a layer of cells forms at the base of each leaf which blocks the veins that convey the fluids into and out of the leaf. As a result, the leaves slowly die then drop off. This strategy protects the rest of the tree from the effects of the cold.

Coniferous or evergreen trees, such as pine and spruce are able to retain their needle-like leaves in winter due to a protective waxy covering and to substances inside their leaves that resist freezing. Their needles stay on the tree for about two to three years before they drop off.

Back to Common Tree Concerns