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How and Why Do Tree Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

Minocqua is the most incredible place to experience nature. From the furry friends of the forest to the vibrant display of trees throughout the year, Minocqua is truly a nature-lovers paradise. Some guests who stay at Nitschke's Northern Resort have discovered the secret that autumn is an even BETTER time to visit than the summer because of the changing colors of the tree leaves!

fall leaves at resort

There is nothing more spectacular than the wide range of colors offered by the vastly diverse set of trees native to "up north". The splendid orange colors of Maple leaves mix with the neon yellow of Birch Trees mix with the vibrant green of the northern pines.

Some well-traveled guests claim that no where else in America has as beautiful of a display of leaves during fall than northern Wisconsin, and I believe them! Minocqua's geographical location is what provides us such a visual treat every September/October.

I have always been astonished by the trees in fall, but never thought much about the how and why they experience this change every year. So I looked it up and now have an even greater appreciation for the changing of the colors in Minocqua in fall.


The leaves of trees change color in the fall because of changes in temperature and daylight. As the days grow shorter and cooler, trees begin to draw cells inward to preserve their energy. Without as much sun, the leaves are no longer needed to help the tree manufacture food, so the tree drops them.

This isn't the case with all trees however, some, called evergreens, keep the majority of their leaves year-round. It's only deciduous trees that drop their leaves annually.

*Fun Fact - Deciduous means "tending to fall off" and is not just reserved for trees. Deer antlers are also called deciduous as they too fall off annually.*

Check out this awesome infographic from Science Bob about the topic:

image of leaves changing colors


During the fall, when the cells recede back into the deep parts of the tree, the chlorophyll or green coloring falls back with it. What remains within the leaves are the other pigments called carotenoids (yellow and orange) and anthocyanines (red, blue and purple).

Truly, it is not so much that the trees change colors, it's simply that the green color goes away to reveal the rich, vibrant other colors the tree has always had hiding. Isn't nature amazing!

fall color changes in minocqua

Don't want to miss the changing of the colors? I don't blame you! Book a cabin now to reserve a spot during the Harley ride or Beef-A-Rama! Cabins go fast, so don't wait! 715-356-7795.

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