Why Do Leaves Change Color in Autumn?

The fall season is one of my favorites at Avalon. As I navigate the wooded blue/yellow trails or walk through the East Farm preserve and the surrounding meadow habitats, I am always awe struck by the beauty of yellows, oranges and reds the trees bring. Ever wonder how the leaves change color or what affects the timing of this process? Here are some answers:

(Click the photo below to open up a larger readable version)

Fun fact- the timing of leaf color changes in different tree species may be genetically inherited! The same species might experience their leaves starting to change at various elevations independent of temperature.