The Fall colorappears in the leaves with less energy from the sun, the chlorophyll breaks down ( the pigment that causes the leaves to be green), and the green color disappears. As chlorophyll goes away, other pigments start to show their colors turning the leaves on deciduous trees shades of yellow /orange and red in fall.
At this time of year in New York we are looking forward to the beautiful fall foliage. Colors are different from year to year as environmental conditions vary. Looking for optimal colors we wish for sunny days and cool nights at the beginnings of the autumn season. When temperatures start to drop and the days become shorter, some plants start to lose their chlorophyll , the other pigments start to show their colors. Maples are renowned trees for fall color. One of the earliest trees to start the color transformation is the Red Maple, Acer rubrum contributing the most intense red/scarlet fall color
Red Maples are an adaptable species, widely distributed throughout out the US as a landscape tree and in the forests; growing in Zones 3-9 to heights of 60-90 feet. To ensure you get the best fall color out of your Red Maples, choose seed from a variety that exhibits the deep red shades. Growing from seed gives you the advantage of seedlings with the most intense fall color , some may well be better than others.
Choosing seed from a healthy tree is important , seeds for a weak plant may produce weak offspring. Collect the seed in the spring for Red and Silver Maple, the fall for most others, after the seed has matured to a brown color.
Dry the seed for long term cold storage or keep in moist stratification to break dormancy for germination.