Dry weather may shorten fall color season

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

This summer's dry, hot weather may mean a shorter and earlier season for watching autumn leaves turn red, orange and yellow.

Leaves typically begin developing fall colors near the beginning of October, but this year the change could come earlier.

Green chlorophyll that generates a tree's food during the growing season typically masks the other colors in a tree's leaves. But the chlorophyll fades and other colors emerge as temperatures drop and days grow shorter. Sugars generated by trees help produce the colors seen in the leaves, and if drought conditions cause a tree to store less, fall leaves may appear more muted.

Traffic already has started to increase in Brown County, a popular spot for leaf watchers.

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