Updated: September 30, 2021 10:31 PM
Created: September 30, 2021 09:15 PM
The majority of the Northland is now reporting at least a 50% leaf color change. Weather is an important factor in the timing of this change.
“When you have bright, full sunlight and cold temperatures, especially when we get those crisp, cold, clear mornings, that’s that stressful time,” said Plant physiology and biochemistry expert Eric Singsaas. “When that’s stressful to the leaves, they will make these yellow colored and red colored pigments as a protective measure.”
The ongoing drought and record heat this summer has led to trees having fewer leaves this fall.
“When plants become stressed, like we see around here, they will actually drop their leaves in the summertime,” Singsaas explained. “But you’ll notice when it’s warm and they drop their leaves, their leaves don’t turn those bright red colors. They typically just turn brown and fall off.”
Different types of trees peak at different times, with varying color. Oak trees tend to be deeper red and peak a week or two after maples, which have a bright red foliage. Aspens and poplars peak even later, turning bright yellow.
The North Shore has been especially colorful due to cooler mornings and sunny days. The latest fall color report can be found here.
Do you have photos of fall colors that you would like to share? Throughout the month of October, you can submit them here for an opportunity to see your photo on Good Morning Northland!
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