Fall Foliage.. Where’s the color?

Weather

We are already well into October and the leaves are still on the trees and green. Why are we not seeing a great fall foliage?

Well it has a lot to do with the weather we experienced over the summer. Dr. Marc Abrams, a professor of Forest Ecology and Tree Physiology, at Penn State University said it was a perfect storm of events preventing the color. Over the summer and into early fall, we had record rainfall and a lot of flooding across Central Pennsylvania. Rain is great for the trees in the summer, but a wet fall can ruin color.

“The best fall colors are produced under drying conditions and a normal cool down,” Dr. Abrams said.

Not only has it been wet, it’s been unusually warm.

“The leaves tend to stay, green. The chlorophyll pigment stays intact. Basically extending the growing season,” Dr. Abrams explained.

Even though the growing season this year was prolonged, now frost can cause major issues to our fall foliage. 
“If these hard frost hit the green leaves, they certainly have the potential to go from green to brown and do very little coloring up at all,” Dr. Abrams said.

Dr. Abrams expects leaves to drop later too, most likely in November. Hopefully next year we have a wet summer, with a dry and cool fall to see the vivid colors of the season.

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