Fall Foliage Update
We're less than one week away from the official first day of fall (Monday, Sept 23), but we're already seeing signs of the season.
The I Love NY map (see above) has our area at "Just Changing" on the foliage meter. This map relies on reports obtained from field observers. We're looking at about a 10% color change in our area right now as of September 18.
We often get the question of "When will the leaves change?" here at the Chamber, and we don't have an exact answer for this.
This year we are seeing colors a little earlier than last year. Typically the last week of September and first week of October are good bets for timing your leaf peeping at peak or near peak foliage.
The length of the foliage color as well as brilliance of the hues depends on temperature, light, and water supply conditions.
For example, if we get low temperatures at night that are still above freezing, that favors bright reds in maples. An early frost however can weaken the brilliant red color, according to this SUNY ESF post.
Though we enjoy the colors for this brief and beautiful time in the fall, the colors are actually there the whole time. Most of the year, they are masked by the green coloring caused by chlorophyll, which absorbs sunlight and helps create the energy the trees need in the spring and summer. The leaves are basically cellular food factories for the trees.
As the days become shorter and the temperature starts to drop, the leaves stop making food and chlorophyll breaks down causing the green color to dissipate as the yellow and oranges take center stage. Additional chemical changes can lead to other pigments such as reds and purples.
We do warn that we could reach peak foliage one day and a storm could blow the leaves off the trees the next day. Either way, we can help you fill your fall getaway with plenty to do.
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