One of the highlights of the end of summer is the turning of the leaves into bright colors all across the northeast and Midwest. A plethora of bright reds, yellows and oranges turn landscapes into wonderful shades of color. It’s about that time where we see the leaves just starting to turn different hues. This fall might be a little different than others. Because of the unusual lack of rain in Northern climates this year, especially the northeast, there will be more colors than we normally see.
“That’s because lower than average levels of rain in New York and in some areas of the Northeast may lead to an earlier retreat of chlorophyll, the green pigment that allows plants to harness the sun’s energy,” said Donald Leopold, a tree researcher at the State University of New York in Syracuse.
Additional stress, from a lack of water, placed on the trees will also cause trees to show color. Too much stress however, will cause a tree to go into a storage mode allowing a tree to prevent itself from losing water and to wait out the winter. “Fall colors are best when there is a moderate drought, but not so much of a drought that leaves wilt and curl up or fall off,” he said.
Colors generally peak in October, so we are only a few months away, but we could be in for a colorful fall.