Color Transformation

By Justin Povick
9/28/2012 11:49:38 AM

It's that time of the year again. Mother Nature dazzles us all with her paintbrush and splash of brilliant color.

As the days turn longer, less sunlight means less oxygen and glucose for plants and leaves and ultimately less chlorophyll, which hides the reds, yellows and oranges. The days of all green are over.

The timetable for leaf transformation runs from September through early November. Typically, the first to see breathtaking fall foliage are the Rockies, Upper Midwest and New England. Here shorter days are coupled with cooler temperatures.

From there leaves begin to change further south into the Ohio Valley, Pacific Northwest and Middle Atlantic toward mid and late October. The first frost and time of leaf change typically go hand in hand. Typically a within a week or so of the first frost, expect a huge uptick in leaf transformation. Other factors such as the amount of water over the summer and early fall impact the full potential of color. More water means better color.