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Terry L. Ettinger Horticulture Consulting Services


Gradually falling temperatures and shorter days (actually, longer nights) trigger deciduous trees, shrubs and perennials to shed their leaves and increase the sugar content within the cells in buds, twigs, stems and trunks to drop the point at which water within the cells freezes. These processes are critical to the ability of plants in your landscape and garden to survive our often harsh Central New York winters.

To learn why the leaves of many trees and shrubs turn color each fall, click on the link below.

Meanwhile, for a more detailed explanation of the winter acclimatization process, click on the link to the University of Minnesota (where winters can be a bit chilly, too), below.

If the links above don't work, click the "back" button on your browser to return to this page. Then, if you would, click on the link below to send me an e-mail to let me know that the link now leads to a page that's no longer valid. I'll then do my best to track down the new address for the page and/or point you toward a different resource.

Terry L. Ettinger Horticulture Consulting Services takes no direct or implied responsibility for the information or recommendations found at any other website. Please keep in mind that all do-it-yourself activities involve a degree of risk. Skills, materials, tools, and site conditions vary widely. The reader remains responsible for the selection and use of tools, materials, and methods. Always obey local codes and laws, follow manufacturers’ operating instructions, and observe safety precautions at all times. Please read all labels carefully before purchasing, applying and storing any pesticide.