Does sugar influence maple leaf colour?

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Offline thedoc

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Does sugar influence maple leaf colour?
« on: 18/07/2012 13:30:07 »
Jeff asked the Naked Scientists:
   
If I poured a pitcher of sugar water on the roots of a sugar maple tree every day, would the leaves produce different colours than normal during the fall season.  (In Southern California)

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/07/2012 13:30:07 by _system »

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Offline Jens

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Re: Does sugar influence maple leaf colour?
« Reply #1 on: 12/09/2012 20:52:28 »
Plants are not made to absorb sugar via the roots.
So the sugar you use will be digested by bacteria and fungi in the soil, which might lead to a lower pH caused by acetic acid produced (at least before complete reaction to CO2).
If you really put a lot of concentrated sugar you might even prevent the plant of absorbing water because of osmotic pressure.
If you do not care about your tree, you can try it. But I assume that you rather kill the tree or make it severely sick, which in turn might change the colour of the leaves. :-)