Sunday, August 7, 2011

Science Sunday: why is the tree losing its leaves?

Science Sunday


Our kids were each given when they were born a tree.  I think it is a very neat tradition that our friend started for us, and now the kids have decided the big huge live oak tree in our backyard is Mommy and Daddy’s tree/

But, earlier this week the boys looked outside and saw their trees were losing leaves.  This led to the question if it was fall yet, to which I replied no……



So, that got us to thinking why would a tree lose its leaves early?


Well, first we talked about why does a tree lose its leaves in winter and what does a tree use its leaves for?


A tree loses its leaves in winter because it doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to keep the leaves healthy, and this helps the tree conserve energy.


Then we remembered a tree uses its leaves to help it get more food from the sun, but it needs lots of water to grow the leaves and keep them healthy.


And how long has it been since we got a rain storm of any significant amount?  Over 3 months.  I think even longer than that.  I don’t really remember any spring rain.


According to this, Austin is in one of the worst droughts ever.  So, we all agreed that the tree is losing its leaves to help protect itself against the lack of water.  And after a quick google search, we’re proven right.


Why are trees losing their leaves so early this summer?

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