Recent rain could salvage fall color - Wayne County Journal-Banner Online: Outdoors

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Recent rain could salvage fall color

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 7:21 pm

2012 is not likely to be remembered for outstanding fall color, but
recent rains could save Missouri's "season of splendor" from fizzling altogether.
Foresters with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) report that many trees
already have shed some or all of their leaves in response to this year's historic
drought. However, they say it isn't too late for trees that still have live leaves
to develop the vivid hues that make Show-Me State forests a visual feast in autumn.
Leaves turn colors when two things happen. First, sugars produced by photosynthesis
are trapped inside leaves by chilly - but not freezing - autumn nights. Those sugars
are the building blocks for red, yellow, orange, and purple pigments. Cool nights
simultaneously cause the breakdown of green pigments, allowing other colors to show
The water trees need for photosynthesis was missing until recently, but this week's
rainfall came just in time for one last gasp of sugar-making. Given a few sunny days
and cool nights, trees can still put on their autumn finery.
Fall color typically develops first in northern Missouri in early October and
spreads south during the following weeks. The peak of fall color statewide usually
occurs around mid-October. Foresters say the best colors likely will be seen little
earlier this year, due to drought stress on trees.
MDC collects fall-color reports from foresters around the state and assembles them
into a weekly report at<<a href="" target="_blank">>;.
  • Discuss

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Special Section

Friday 04/17/2015
Wednesday 02/25/2015
The Guide 2015
Wednesday 07/09/2014
Voices of Wisdom
Wednesday 04/16/2014
Faith of Our Fathers

Follow us on Facebook