One of the most breathtaking Branson shows takes place in the fall months of September and October, when the leaves of many of our trees change color from green to many shades of yellow, orange, purple and red. Driving down the road to and from work everyday, have you ever wondered why the leaves change colors? There are couple different reasons and it is not as simple as because the weather is cooling off, in fact if it gets too cold to quickly the leaves will just fall before they have time to be colorful.
The yellow and orange colors occur in the Branson fall months because the leaves are getting less sun each day, as the days get shorter. Which results in them being unable to make as much food, and as this happens, the green color breaks down and the yellows and oranges, which have been there all summer, can be seen. The trees that bring us these beautiful colors are the hickory, ash, birch, maple, sycamore, cottonwood and sassafras.
However, a chemical change in the leaf is what creates the reds and purples in the maple, sweetgum, oak and dogwood trees. The leaf makes new sugars during warm days and it is then trapped there during the cool nights and the chemical change appears red or purple. The leaves will appear more red if the days are warmer and if they are not shaded from the sun.
But if the trees don’t get the needed rainfall throughout the year and especially during this turning period, the leaves will sadly just turn brown and fall to the ground without displaying their beauty.
Now that you know a bit about why leaves change colors, you can plan your visits to Branson shows around when you’re most likely to see the best color. Check back in a couple days when we give you our recommendations for the best scenic fall drives in Southwest Missouri!