One day when Pexi and Alexi were playing in a pile of colorful autumn leaves, Pexi asked, “Why do leaves change from green to red and brown?”
Alexi said, “I know that. Like other plants, trees make their own food. During the summer, they take water from the ground through their roots. They also take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. They turn the water and carbon dioxide into food using sunlight and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is green. It gives leaves their green color.
But many trees stop making food in the fall. The green chlorophyll goes away. Then we can see red, brown and yellow colors. These colors were in the leaves all summer, but the green covered them up.
Some leaves turn red because of the food trapped in the leaves. Some leaves turn brown from the wastes left in the leaves.
“I think they change so we will have colorful leaves to play in,” said Pexi.
“So do I,” said Alexi as he joyfully threw some leaves in the air.
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