Why is green not a tree

Why are leaves green?

Why are leaves green? At first glance, Yumna, 10 years old, answered the question quickly: Leaves are green because they contain the green leaf pigment chlorophyll. But there is more to it than that.

Without the leafy green, the trees would not be able to produce oxygen for themselves, but also for all other living beings on earth. Source © Greg Brave, Shutterstock

Only with the help of chlorophyll are tree leaves able to capture the energy of sunlight and, with water and carbon dioxide, to form glucose. This process, which helps the tree to survive, is called photosynthesis.

Leaves and plants in general appear green because the dye chlorophyll reflects green and absorbs the other color components contained in sunlight and converts it into chemical energy.

That's how a tree lives

Glucose is high in energy and is transported to all parts of the tree as fuel. There, glucose is needed to build up storage materials such as starch and sugar as well as building materials from which wood, bark and leaves are formed.

Trees need a lot of leaves in order to absorb a lot of energy and to be able to survive. Although the tree draws air in through bark and twigs, the leaves are the actual "lungs" of the tree.

Animals and humans also benefit from these processes in the leaves of the trees, as oxygen is also released in the process. We living beings need this oxygen to breathe.

How much oxygen does a tree provide?

In a 100-year-old beech, for example, 1.7 kilograms of oxygen per hour emerge from the stomata of the leaves. That's as much oxygen as 50 people need to breathe for an hour.

Due to the production of oxygen, photosynthesis is also considered to be the most important biological process on our earth.

Rest in winter

When the tree takes a break during the cold, arid months and sheds its leaves, the chlorophyll is also responsible for this. It regresses and is slowly broken down. Then the leaves lose their lush green, become colorful and finally wither completely. Only in the spring, when the tree revs up its metabolism at full speed, is the dye formed again.

You can find out more on the subject in WAS IST WAS Volume 134 Wald. More than just trees

as well as in WAS IST WAS Pflanzen