The fall foliage season is reaching a peak all across New England, and with the Columbus Day weekend coming up, a lot of people will hit the road to enjoy one of the annual pleasures of living here.
But did the leaves start changing early this year?
Based on a Curiosity question sent in by a WBZ viewer, meteorologist Mish Michaels found out and learned what to expect this season. Gretta from Beverly asks: “I’m curious why the trees started to turn color in mid-August. Isn’t this too early?”
The color on some of the trees really pop, and it’s those trees that have people thinking the color season started earlier this year, but George Ellmore, PhD., a Tufts University biologist, said that’s not the case.
Dr. Ellmore says most trees are extremely healthy this year, with dark, rich, green leaves, so when individual branches turn color, they simply stand out more. “Makes you think the tree is changing early, but it’s only occasional branches that are doing that.”
Photos: Fall Foliage Pictures
The autumn color show is worth millions to the New England economy — from hotels and restaurants, to gas stations and local shops, so will all this color deliver the green?
Dr. Ellmore says we could be in for a tremendous season because of the weather we had a few months ago.
He says all the rainfall we had this summer is going to help out the trees this fall. “Leaves are going to stay on the trees for longer and they’re going to hold their color longer because they’ve got more water reserves to keep them on the crown.”
Dr. Ellmore says he expects the fall foliage season to be a long one.
The remaining ingredient for leaf change is the temperature. The recipe is warm days and cool nights.
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