A maple tree grew in the park. Its leaves were thin and flat and broad.
Snow would fall on the leaves if they stayed on the tree all winter. The snow would make the broad leaves very heavy.
The maple branches could not hold such heavy leaves. The branches would break if the leaves were too heavy with snow.
But the broad maple leaves did not stay on the tree in the winter. They fell to the ground in the fall.
The tree did not need leaves, then.
A tree grows in the spring and summer. While it is growing it needs to have leaves. Leaves help a growing tree to live.
Maple leaves are green all summer. They have strong fresh stems. The fresh stems do not drop from the branches.
In the fall a maple leaf changes its color. It is not green, then. It is red or yellow.
A maple leaf changes in other ways, too. The end of its stem is dry in the fall. The dry stem drops off the branch. So the old leaf falls to the ground when the tree does not need it.
Don and Nan went to visit the maple tree in the fall. They liked to play with the pretty leaves.
One day Nan said, "Leaves are falling from many other trees and bushes, too."
"Shall we pick up different kinds of broad leaves?" asked Don.
"Yes, that will be fun!" said Nan.