Deciduous trees are detoxing now
Deciduous trees are detoxing in autumn to prepare for the cold season. An exciting process is set in motion.
When deciduous trees shed their leaves in the autumn, they do it to protect themselves. Water would continue to evaporate through the leaves in the winter sunshine. Since, however, the water in the ground freezes in winter, the tree's water supply would no longer be guaranteed. The plant therefore develops phytohormones and sends them to its leaf stalks. The hormones cause an abscission (separation) layer to form there. It becomes corky and the leaves fall off.
The tree forms external protection by means of the corky seal at the base of the petiole (the stalk that joins the leaf to the stem). It prevents pathogens such as bacteria or fungi from penetrating. Dropping leaves is also a detox process. Together with its leaves, the tree also sheds toxins that have concentrated there in the course of the summer (e. g. environmental toxins).
Last but not least, bare trees are better able to withstand the weight of snow in the winter. And another thing: the open canopy makes it possible for early flowers such as anemones, wild garlic and lesser celandine to get sufficient light at ground level.
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