Good news for leaf peepers, beautiful fall foliage expected


Sept. 26, 2013

Good news for leaf peepers, beautiful fall foliage expected

Karl Niklas, Cornell University professor of plant biology whose research focuses on the relationship between plants and the physical environment, predicts the 2013 fall season will be filled with beautiful, vibrant colors.

Niklas says:

“Autumn coloration will be average to better than average this year.  Leaf coloration depends on temperature and rainfall, but it also depends on the health of a forest. Overall, we had a reasonable amount of rainfall, about average temperatures and forest health appears normal as well.

“The autumnal coloration will commence at higher elevations in the Northeastern parts of the state.  Cooler weather will arrive at these higher elevations, which have more well-drained soil.  As a consequence of the confluence of drier soils and lower temperatures, the plants will respond by going into dormancy sooner, which for deciduous species entails drawing nutrients from leaves that in turn results in coloration of leaves.”

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