Why are the Autumn colors not as vibrant this year?

October 25, 2017 03:11 PM

A question we have been asked quite often recently is “why are the fall colors not looking so vibrant this autumn”. Truth is there are a slew of reasons that could impact the changing colors in Autumn.

First and foremost we had a wet and cloudy growing season this year. Looking at records from June to August over half of the days would be considered “cloudy." According to Walter Nelson, a horticulturist at CCE Monroe, cloudy skies during the growing season and the lack of sun did not facilitate to the building of oranges and yellows under the chlorophyll.

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So we had a cloudy and wet summer, then a dry and sunny September. In fact, 20 days out of the month would be considered “sunny," not to mention the record-breaking streak of 90s that we had that should have been conducive for some bright red and purples. But it was a little too extreme on the other side of the spectrum. In both cases of too much or too little rainfall and what typically happens is the leaves turn brown and just fall.

On top of that it was a big year for diseases in trees, specifically Ash suffered from Ash Bore and Maple was hit by anthracnose, a lot of these trees just lost their leaves right away.

So in short what we are seeing now is a product of the weather pattern we had the last six months. Still though maybe less vibrant colors are what some people like. I would suggest getting out and taking a look at them soon though as we near the peak here in Rochester through late October.


Robert Speta

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