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Why do Leave Change Colors?

Trees are a great indicator of the season! Greens leaves are changing to red, yellow, orange & brown all around us. The changes are even noticeable from day to day. Enjoy the colors of fall at all MetroParks of Butler County locations soon before they are gone!

But why do the leave change colors?  Watch the video to find out!  Then try the experiment with leaves from your own backyard. Share your findings with us! 

Changing Leaves Experiment

Supplies

  • 8-10 green leaves each from various kinds of trees
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Glass Jars - one for each type of leaves
  • Coffee Filters - one for each jar
  • Spoon or utensil for stirring & smashing 

Directions

1) Tear leaves of the same variety into small pieces
2) Place torn leaves into a glass jar
3) Cover torn leaves with rubbing alcohol
4) Stir & smash leaf pieces in the jar until the liquid starts to turn green
5) Roll a coffee filter into a tube & submerse one end in the liquid leaf mixture 
6) Repeat steps 1-5 for each variety of leaf
7) Watch what happens on the coffee filter over the next 24 hours
8) Record your findings
9) See if the remaining leaves on the trees your leaves came from turn the same colors as observed on the coffee filters