CLEVELAND - According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, beautiful fall leaves of orange, red and yellow will be visible this season, but just a little unpredictable.
Fall foliage forecasters with ODNR take sunlight, temperature, wind and rainfall into consideration when calculating the brilliance and longevity of Ohio’s fall colors. According to ODNR, bright, sunny September days and cool nights tend to make the red, orange and bronze colors in leaves more intense.
Early frosts often cause trees to prematurely build a barrier between the leaves and branches causing leaves to turn “ahead of schedule,” and dry conditions can delay leaf color change.
What exactly triggers the change in the leaves? According to ODNR, fewer hours of daylight during fall months triggers the autumnal transformation in some trees. The shift causes green chlorophyll to break down, revealing the gold, yellow, orange and brown hues of Ohio’s beech, birch and hickory trees. Meanwhile, many “sugary” trees such as maples, dogwoods, and sweet gums, undergo a chemical change prompted by the arrival of mid to-late September’s cool nights and sunny days. The leaves of these trees react with a showy display of deep red, purple, russet and bronze shades.
If you’re looking to find out where and when you can catch the best fall foliage ODNR has an online guide to Ohio’s fall color season at fallcolor.ohiodnr.com . The website provides weekly color updates and information to help plan your voyage to find stunning fall leaves.
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