Close up of red leaves on a branch, close to ground

Photo – T. McCadden

Colour Therapy Available – No Appointment Needed!

By Environment Services

Posted on Thursday October 22, 2020

The days are getting shorter, and the morning hours are chillier. Yes, it seems that FALL has started once again.

With school back in session, it seems like the re-establishment of weekly routine just makes the time fly by faster. Then before you know it the weekends are over.

Remember in the coming weeks to take in some colour therapy while it is available. The Petawawa region is coming into its prettiest time of year, and any one experiencing the Range and Training Area can attest to the vibrant colours available for the soaking up.

You don’t have to go into the training area to see the fall colours, however. Take a hike on a trail or go for a drive on a local country road, or walk around the block.

Why do the leaves produce the vibrant colours that we often take for granted?
Basically, the tree is preparing for winter.

The snow on the leaves of deciduous trees would weigh too much, and the branches would break. So the tree senses the change in daylight hours, as well as the drop in temperature.

This triggers the tree to stop producing chlorophyll (the green pigment in the leaves) which allows us to see the other pigments in the leaves (the golds, reds and oranges of fall).

This is followed by the formation of a scab, if you will, where the leaf attaches to the twigs on the branches.

This allows the leaves to fall off and reduces the surface area of the tree, which keeps the weight of our pending snow from breaking the branches.

It’s a protective measure for deciduous trees, and a natural colour therapy for humans, that’s free for those of us who take time to soak in the treatment; and as a bonus, you don’t need to schedule and appointment!