As I was walking around a lake a while back, a bright red leaf floated down to the ground in front of me. The thought that immediately crossed my mind was, “Abscission is complete.”
I had just read this fascinating article…
AUTUMN LEAVES DON’T FALL… THEY ARE PUSHED!
Like everything else in God’s Creation, it’s an exquisitely designed process to protect the tree during winter; and also from diseases and pests. Why was I surprised to think otherwise?
- Valuable resources are retrieved from the leaf; and
- Stored in the tree’s roots, trunk and branches.
- The abscission zone is activated by a raft of chemical signals.
- Enzymes dissolve the glue which holds the cells together.
- The cells disconnect and form a tiny fracture line.
- The cell walls pull apart, open up, and seal the scar.
- The leaf can now be safely shed. Abscission is complete.
- Resources are recycled next Spring to re-leaf the tree.
If any one of these steps is absent, the abscission process does not work. It’s a carefully coordinated series of complex chemical processes, which must all happen for successful leaf shedding and effective tree survival. Autumn, and its colourful cascade of leaves, were designed by the super-intelligent Creator God to fit the seasons that He also made.
So next time you are wandering around and see a leaf floating to the ground, remember…
“Abscission is complete!” :)
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