Happy Labor Day! Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable 3-day weekend. Labor day is the unofficial end of summer, which means fall is just around the corner. In fact, fall may be a little early this year around these parts. We are already starting to pick up some fall color – mainly maples, sassafras, and sumac. I usually get some calls from various media outlets asking for predictions on fall color. It’s always a dicey proposition. Weather going into fall is certainly a factor for fall color, but conditions during the fall itself are the final trump card. As I noted, we’re likely to see an early fall here in the Upper Midwest and, if we don’t start getting some decent rain, I suspect it could be a relatively short season as trees begin to drop leaves early due to continuing drought stress. Of course, all this can change relatively quickly if we get into a different weather pattern.
July 28, 2012. Sumac in fall color near DeWitt, MI.
Speaking of fall leaf color, the Fall Color Guy (aka Dr. Howard Neufeld, Appalachian State Department of Biology) has started his annual reports. http://biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors . This site is a great resource if you’re planning on doing some leaf peeping in the Appalachians. And even if you aren’t, I still recommend this site as one of the best on the biology of leaf color.