BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Typically, fall foliage peaks by the first or second week of October. This year, the best colors could come later.
It’s a delicate balance when it comes to weather and the changing of leaves. For the best fall foliage, we need warm, sunny days, cool nights and not too much rain. Our daytime highs and overnight lows for the month of September have been five to seven degrees above average, and our rainfall has been above average, too, by about an inch and a half. So, the best colors could come mid-October.
Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color. As the days become shorter, less chlorophyll is produced, which causes the leaves to lose that green hue and the orange and reds begin to shine through. Also, as the trees start preparing for winter, they begin to store as much energy in their roots and trunks as they can.
“Our trees are getting ready to prepare for winter whey they are going dormant, so those leaves use a lot of energy. The tree has to use a lot of energy to feed them, so at this time we have to get rid of those leaves,” said Mill Creek MetroParks educator Lynn Zocolo.
Even though trees are expected to turn just a little bit later this year, you may notice some leaves changing right now, but that’s not because of the weather – the tree may be stressed.
“It could be environmental conditions that cause stress. It could be where they are growing – their roots might be tangled up, so they are not getting the proper nutrients from the soil and such, they could just not be happy,” Zocolo said.
Luckily our plants here in the Valley are very adaptable to both changing weather conditions and some stress.