BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Those iconic, beautiful Fall colors will soon be making their way to Bakersfield and beyond.
According to forecast models, the middle of October will be when trees will be either near-peak or at their peak here in the golden state, and we’re currently seeing that in our mountain communities. However, for the valley, Kern County’s foliage will see a burst of Fall colors later in the month — with the peak likely around the first week of November.
So what’s the science behind why the leaves change colors?
During the growing season, chlorophyll is continually being produced and broken down and leaves appear green. As night length increases in the autumn, chlorophyll production slows down and then stops, and eventually all the chlorophyll is destroyed.
During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf, but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions – lots of sugar and light – spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples and crimson.