Fall foliage in Central Connecticut expected to peak in late October

Fall foliage in Central Connecticut expected to peak in late October


Although leaves in some parts of the state have begun to change color, environmental officials say fall foliage is on a normal track.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Director Of Forestry Chris Martin said leaves on trees in some swamp areas have started to change color due to the high moisture content in the area.

Leaves will begin to change color in the northwest and northeast corners of the state later this month. Foliage will peak in Central Connecticut between Oct. 24 and 30.

“We are predicting a very good year, as long as September is typical as long as weather goes,” Martin said. “The vibrancy should be more concentrated.”

However, warm weather can slow the color-changing process. Last year, the process was accelerated because of drought conditions, Martin said.

Martin said leaves on most healthy trees are still green and will begin to change color in the coming weeks.

“Everything else is pretty much on schedule,” Martin said.

Martin said overnight lows of about 40 degrees are ideal for leaves to change color. Sugars, which normally travel down into trees during warm nights, are active during warm days but become trapped during cool nights. The trapped sugars cause the colors to develop. Chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green color, also begins to break down.

Gary Lessor, meteorologist with the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University, said temperatures will be above normal in the coming weeks, with long-range models also indicating above normal temperatures.

Lessor said hurricanes, such as Hurricane Jose, could negatively affect the process, as the storms produce gusty winds which can rip leaves off of trees.

blipiner@record-journal.com 203-317-2444 Twitter: @BryanLipiner

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