Fall Colors Moving South Thanks To Less Sun

Sep 21, 2017

Credit pixabay.com

Wisconsin has more than 17 million acres of forested lands and changes in color mean the trees are starting to get ready for winter. Peak fall color varies each year, and 2017 is one of the wettest on record, which could have an impact on color this year.

DNR silvaculturalist Colleen Matula says the change of colors is begun by the sun...

"....when we get the shorter daylight, the sunlight is less intense and the leaves adjust by producing less chlorophyll and it reveals these pigments that are shaded behind the chlorophyll so the colors come out...in the color pallete that we have out there....'

Matula says there are several factors that affect fall colors including forest health. She says the amount of rain we've had is affecting the color....

"....we've noted that there is some forest health considerations that have been affecting aspen and white birch. We have some fungal infections out there that are affecting the leaves. So we don't have the best yellows or colors from these species. Surrounding the wetlands we have red maple that is turning pretty vibrant reds right now. Those, too, have been affected by the amoung of precipitation we've been getting...."

The Department of Tourism has a website that follows the southward march of peak fall color at its Fall Color Report.. We have a link here. From the report, the color varies depending on where you live. Iron and Lincoln counties are ahead of the rest of the northern counties with most counties reporting about 50 percent of peak.