Autumn Leaves

Jock loves watching the leaves on the deciduous trees like birch, sycamore, beech and oak changing colour before falling off. They turn beautiful shades of red, orange, yellow and brown because they lose chlorophyll. That’s the chemical which lets plants make food from sunlight and keeps leaves green in spring and summer.

Find out more about why leaves fall off trees in autumn by reading the BBC bitesize - Why do leaves fall off trees? article.

Nature is a great recycler and all the leaves that fall on the ground are decomposed by a vast army of nearly invisible organisms that live in the soil such as bacteria, fungi, mites, earthworms, insects, and small animals that will feed on the leaf litter.

Many trees are also producing seeds and nuts in autumn. More about this further on.

Thanks to the evergreen trees like Scots pine and holly, Jock still sees loads of greenery on Bennachie all year round.

As Jock puts on his big old jacket partly made from feathers, dried moss and straw, his furry and feathered friends are also getting ready for the colder weather. Some grow thick fur to keep the cold out, e.g. the red squirrels grow thicker coats and bushy tails plus ear tufts, and are busy burying nuts to keep them going in the cold days ahead.

Photograph of Bennachie
BBCsize - Why do leaves fall off trees?
Photograph credit, Andy Wilson

This is part of the About Autumn information.