Fall has officially begun, and the Miami Valley will soon start to see fall color change in full force! The Ohio Department of Natural Resources forester says this year’s color change will be peaking a little later than average. You might have already noticed some color changes in urban and suburban areas. This usually occurs because the soil moisture and nutrients aren’t the same as they are in our forests and other natural wildlife areas of the Miami Valley. Certain types of trees also change at different times as well.
According to ODNR, their fall color peak is forecasted to occur October 17-24 in the northern part of Ohio, around October 24 in the central part of the state, and at the end of the month for the southern tier. The shorter days are the main reason trees begin to show their true colors. The loss of daylight hours through fall signals the end of chlorophyll production. Chlorophyll is what makes leaves appear green. The drop in temperatures also helps with this process. Fall color vibrancy can also be influenced by the weather! Cool, above-freezing temperatures in the morning and sunny afternoons are the ideal forecast for bright colors in the fall. A drought in the summer can stress trees and cause them to have a duller transition or to shed their leaves early. If fall is full of wind and rain, the leaves may drop faster as the abscission layer that is developed through the season cuts the leaf off from the stem. A windy day or heavy rain then causes the leaves to drop.
The first report from ODNR shows the beginning of fall color change in northern Ohio, and John Bryan State Park has also begun to have some leaves change. Buckeye trees and Black Gums are usually the first to change, so get outside and enjoy watching the transition this fall! Your Storm Center 7 team will continue to share the ODNR color reports and our weekend forecasts throughout the season.
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