MarvelousMonday: Why Trees Have Green Leaves

This article belongs to a series called MarvelousMonday. Each Monday I send you a short email with inspiration & insights about travel destinations and nature to marvel at: beautiful photographs, stories, pop quizzes & mind-boggling facts about Earth and space. Sign up to the mailing list at the end of this article to be notified each week. 🌎

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The Coronavirus crisis is bringing lots of pain, anger, fear and restrictions. One thing that helps me stay positive is focusing my attention on nature. 

Nature is so normal. In nature, everything is following its regular cycle. The sun is shining no matter what. It's raining no matter what. It's a really soothing feeling. I sometimes even forget the strange situation we're in when I'm outside (until I see people with facemaks ;)).

I go outside a lot these days, at least 1-2 hours daily. The sun has been shining for the past two weeks, with barely a cloud in the sky, and the trees and flowers are blossoming. They're waking up, they're showing they're beauty, winter is past, it's time to show color, it's time for new life. Green leaves, lush pastures and lawns, pink and white fragant blossoms, yellow and white dendalions, the brown bark of trees. The birds' songs in the morning, ducks and geese bathing in the lake and in the sunshine and breeding, turtles sticking their heads out of their shells towards the sun.


Especially the green color of leaves mesmerizes me. Walking in the park or a forest feels incredibly calming, wouldn't you agree? 

Where does the green color from? 

The green color of leaves comes from a green pigment: chlorophyll.

Interestingly, these pigments only appear green as they don't absorb green, but only red and blue light (which represent a specific wavelength on the elctromagnetic spectrum), but they reflect green light.

So, we basically see the color that leaf doesn't have. Ain't that cool?

Chlorophyll enables plants to absorb light as energy.

Trees need this energy to perform photosynthesis.

To photosynthesize, trees use carbon dioxide, water and sunlight (energy). The energy gained through photosynthesis is used to produce sugar, which in turn can be used for the tree's growth.

Oxygen is only a side product of photosynthesis, trees don't need it.

To put it very simply, trees produce sugar and oxygen by photosynthesis.

Due to their capability to photosynthesize, trees are imporant for our planet's health, and a clean and oxygen-rich atmosphere. I love trees 🌳 ⁠

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