Actually, not all plants and trees lose their
leaves during the fall. Some types of trees,
such as evergreen trees, will lose a few of
their pine needles at a time all through the
year. This makes them appear green all year
long! Trees that do lose their leaves in the
fall are called “deciduous trees” (deh-sid-you-
us). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the
fall because it is more difficult for the tree
to survive in the winter. Trees need sunlight
to grow, and there is less sunlight in the
winter so it is harder for the tree to make
enough energy to keep all those leaves alive.
To save energy, the trees lose their leaves and
become “dormant” (asleep). The tree is still
alive, and survives off energy provided by the
roots and energy the tree has stored up over the
summer (sort of like a hibernating bear). When
the weather improves and there is more sunlight,
the tree has enough energy to grow back its
leaves. During the spring and summer these
leaves grow and make energy for the tree that it
will store again the next fall.
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