Destination Recreation: Fall Foliage - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Fall Foliage

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Vermonters like to look at the leaves around here, but how many people actually know why they change colors?

"It's in the leaves and then in the winter time it produces less of it so the leaves fall off in order to keep the main part of the tree alive," says Teintay Braxton, Burlington.

"Monkeys make fall right now," says four year old's Jimmy Agnew and Emmet Gonovan.

"That sounds really probable.  Yeah, in Vermont, a large monkey population," says Chris Broughton and Erin Okeef.

"So you think this has nothing to do with the chlorophyll within the leaves and protecting the colors and the sugars within? Its monkeys?" asks reporter Alex Hirsch.

"Monkeys are changing the colors," says Agnew.

"Do you agree with that Emmett?  You stand by that?" says Gonovan.

"It's the monkeys. It's crayon wielding monkeys," says Broughton.

Some of those answers, and you probably know which ones.

"The department of tourism probably hires the monkeys to go out and color the leaves each year," says Broughton.

Were a little far fetcher, so we talked with Paul Schaberg, a plant physiologist, an expert in the field.

"Basically what happens is the green pigment doesn't last forever and as the days get shorter, the tree doesn't replace the green.  And, so as it gradually dissipates, you lose the green and see the yellow," says Schaberg.

 And a variation of trees creates a great variation in color, which is what makes Vermont a great destination for leaf peepers.

"On the landscape, for certain species, cold temperatures not only get rid of the green faster but then produce this vibrant red and orange display that you see," says Schaberg.

But, Schaberg says the biology is complex which leads to many theories.

"The imagination could produce all sorts of ideas about why the colors are like that," says Schaberg.

Like crayon wielding monkeys.

"The monkeys make fall!" says Gonovan and Agnew

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