Summer's drought affecting fall foliage colors? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Summer's drought affecting fall foliage colors?

By Jamey Boyum

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It has officially been fall since September 23rd , but all of us know that  here in East Texas the leaves hang onto their green color for awhile after that.

But will this summer's drought affect when the colors change? And will the colors be as bright?

According to Luke Porter, City of Tyler arborist, some East Texas trees have shut down during the drought, and then "re-started" to absorb more energy to make it through the winter.

"Some of the real early color changed; you had are probably stressed out trees. Some of the color changes you're going to start seeing now ..the drought, in  my predictions, has kind of prolonged the color change. So, we're going to see it two or three weeks later than we normally would. The color in the trees in my opinion is not going to be as bright this year. Each species is going to be different about that. They take the heat and the drought tolerance differently." Luke said.

Luke says that since there are so many different species of trees here, we'll have fall foliage longer than a lot of other places. 

But what is happening during the color change?

"The tree is actually shutting down its sugar-making process, and everything's being stored into the root system. During the color change they're actually creating a barrier from where the leaf connects to the branch. And, they actually seal off in that area and that's why you see that leaf fall off of that branch," Luke said.

So, you can still get a good dose of fall beginning; well, at least right now, judging from the looks of the leaves. You better charge up that camera battery now if you want some calendar shots..without using Photoshop.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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